Those of us who practice in the juvenile dependency system in California know that juvenile courts are closed and secret proceedings that the public rarely gets a glimpse into. While privacy measures were designed to protect the identity of the children and families in the system, ultimately it is County Social Service Agency and Child Protective Services social workers who are shielded from scrutiny for their actions. According to a Sacramento Bee EDITORIAL: Dependency courts will benefit from being open, soon this all may end.
The consequences for families will only be positive and, finally, the press will be able to report on these cases so the public can learn what really happens to families in this system. Too many children have been seriously injured or killed in foster care due to a lack of social worker supervision and action. We must hold all caretakers of children responsible when there is abuse of children- – not just parents in the system.
I support AB 73 and look forward to a more tranparent administration of justice for children and families. Sunshine truly is the best disinfectant.
Lauren K Johnson is a parent’s rights attorney in Southern California handling dependency cases in trial court and on appeal. Contact us if your child has been detained and your family needs an expert in this field to help reunify with your child.