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Journal Issue: The Juvenile Court Volume 6 Number 3 Winter 1996

The Juvenile Court and Dependency Cases
Richard P. Barth


Most child abuse and neglect reports do not reach the juvenile court. However, those that do constitute a significant and demanding portion of the court's workload. These cases are often the most serious and require intense efforts at preserving the family and a temporary or permanent change in custody for the child. The children involved are increasingly very young and have histories of repeated contact with the child welfare system. The limited available data about the effectiveness of the court and child welfare system's response to these cases are reviewed in this article and show that improvement is needed in protecting children and ensuring safe and stable placements for them.