Juvenile Law Archives

Child Protective Services in Pennsylvania: When Does the Court Get Involved?

Having the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) involved with your child can be a scary experience for any parent. So why are Pennsylvania courts involved in some cases but not others? That can depend on a number of factors and the specifics of your case.

What is Child Dependency in Pennsylvania?

The child dependency system in Pennsylvania is in place to ensure that all of the children of the Commonwealth receive proper protection and care. Sometimes, this means that a state agency may become involved in a family's life to ensure that any minor children are well cared for and safe. Often, the court becomes involved to oversee the dependency process and to decide who will care for a dependent child.

Juvenile Expungement in Pennsylvania

With competition to get into college rises, the history of our youth begins to matter more and more. Colleges are becoming more particular with their requirements and standards, and more exhaustive with their investigation of potential applicants. If you are a juvenile with a record or are the parent/guardian of a juvenile with a court record, it is important for you to educate yourself on the process of juvenile expungement.

The Juvenile Justice System in Pennsylvania: An Overview

The Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice system has undergone many changes since the late 2000's when the Commonwealth found itself in the middle of a national scandal knows as "Kids for Cash." In Luzerne County, two judges were found to be receiving kick-backs for sentencing juvenile offenders, most of whom were not represented, to extended amounts of time in privatized juvenile detention centers. Since that time, juvenile justice laws in Pennsylvania have changed dramatically to allow for more protections for juveniles, while still keeping the community as a whole safe.

Report of the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee

A recent explanatory report released by the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addresses the role of a guardian ad litem in a juvenile proceeding. Although many have heard the term "guardian ad litem," few understand the difficult position these attorneys are in and what their role is in a juvenile court proceeding. The most important aspect of this unique attorney-client relationship is based on trust. The child must trust his or her attorney and feel as though their attorney is looking out for their interests. However, the report from the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee implies that more often than not, this relationship is one of betrayal and distrust in the child's eyes.

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