Pennsylvania Judicial Deskbook 4th Edition

Alisa G. Field, with Nina W. Chernoff,

The Judicial Deskbook is a 300-page guide for judges, lawyers, and child welfare workers.

Part I analyzes federal and state child welfare legislation, providing an overview of the major laws governing the field. It also describes lawyers' obligations to children.

Part II details the process of entering the child welfare system and the system's goals of protecting children in their own residences or moving them into adoptive homes. It further examines the meaning of permanency for dependent children—reuniting kids with birth parents, terminating parental rights, or providing adoption and adoption subsidies. In addition, the section analyzes kinship care and the rights of third parties such as grandparents and foster parents and discusses how juvenile courts can create new services to meet the needs of the abused and neglected children.

Part III is devoted to the rights of older youth in the foster care system and provides an overview of the Foster Care Independence Act. It also details the effect of the Adoption and Safe Families Act on older youth and suggests ways in which juvenile courts can ensure the well-being of older youth as they age out of the system.

Part IV provides a detailed look at dependent children’s rights to physical and behavioral health care. It also includes a section on dependent children’s rights to education, drafted by Education Law Center-PA.