Tools for Engaging Children in Their Court Proceedings

A Guide for Judges, Advocates and Child Welfare Professionals

Posted October 10, 2008
By New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children
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This handbook provides guidance on how to get kids, ages 5 through 20, involved in their own out-of-home court proceedings. Intended to quell fears for judges, advocates and child welfare professionals — and to make the court experience more productive for all  — it offers basic knowledge related to child behavior, communication, personal growth and court proceedings. 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Planned court participation gives child welfare kids a chance to gain control of their life

Kids in the child welfare system are exposed to chaos, unpredictability, fear and other trauma. Involving kids in decisions affecting their life gives them a sense of control and an opportunity to share their feelings and desires. Involving kids in their own court hearings requires thoughtful planning: A a win-win situation for all when kids know what to expect and know what is expected of them.