Courts play a key role within the child welfare system in achieving permanency for children. Judges, attorneys, child welfare professionals, and others must understand and implement the laws and work together to ensure safe and stable permanent families for children. The following are resources that provide information to help child welfare agencies and courts collaborate to achieve permanency for children, including court issues related to youth.
Child Welfare Courts During a Public Health Crisis: Access to Justice and Advocacy Are Critical Anchors During Uncertain Times (PDF - 261 KB)
Children’s Advocacy Institute, Children's Rights, National Center for Youth Law, Juvenile Law Center, Youth Law Center, & National Association of Counsel for Children (2020)
Provides guidance on safeguarding the needs and rights of every young person and family member experiencing dependency court involvement during a public health crisis.
Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanence
Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children
Court Improvement Program (CIP) Talks
National Center for State Courts
Presents several videos on how the legal community can partner with stakeholders to better serve vulnerable families and improve child welfare outcomes. The topics discussed include how legal professionals can help strengthen families, high quality legal representation, and more.
Courts, COVID, and Permanency (PDF - 532 KB)
National Center for State Courts (2021)
Discusses the need for expedited permanency and strategies to integrate, even in the face of a global pandemic.
Permanency Barriers Project
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law
Presents an initiative that helps youth in foster care find permanent and safe homes and assists States in identifying and addressing barriers to permanency.
Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
How Adolescent Brain Science Supports Youth Engagement in Court Hearings and Case Planning
American Bar Association Youth Engagement Project (2019)
Child Law Practice Today
Describes how adolescent brain science confirms that meaningfully engaging youth in their case planning and court hearings is important for their healthy growth and development and for successful child welfare cases.
Informing the Court: What Permanency Means for Young People
Shares how the Permanency Pact can be used to support young people in foster care by helping to strengthen connections they may already have. Courts can provide opportunities for the pact to be discussed at different points during case planning and hearings.
Permanency in the Court: A Youth-Driven Perspective [Video]
Baber, Rideout, Kelly, & Keane (2017)
Voice for Adoption
Outlines steps judges and court professionals can take to promote permanency for youth. These include promoting positive attitudes toward permanency, ensuring youth participation, limiting group care and supporting family-based placements, and prioritizing successful permanency planning.
Unadoptable Is Unacceptable: Removing Legal Barriers to Permanency for Older Youth (PDF - 2,664 KB)
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (2019)
Provides insight into the systemic barriers and most common legal challenges that Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiters in all 50 States encounter as they move children out of foster care and into a permanent home.