Juvenile Dependency Court


Hearings: The Window is Closing

Early on a cloudy February morning, streets slick with the steady drip of rain, a few figures are starting to make the climb up the hill to the teeming nerve center of family crisis in Los Angeles County.


Foster Youth Deserve the Right to Speak for Themselves in Court

As a youth in foster care, I am used to major decisions about me being made in my absence. Countless times, I was not made aware of my court dates, where my future would be decided.


To Grant Sister a Pathway to Citizenship, Judith Defies Fear of ICE

About two and a half years ago, 29-year-old Judith* got a phone call from Maria,* her 9-year-old half-sister in México, to inform her that their mom had just died. Maria’s father had passed away the year before.


“Tough Love” Documentary Gives Insight Into Birth Parents’ Struggles

Director Stephanie Wang-Breal’s “Tough Love” follows the stories of two birth parents working to get their children back from the foster care system. The documentary’s subjects, Hasna “Hannah” Siddique and Patrick Brown, are seen struggling to get their children back from the foster care system, and much of the action is shot in Seattle’s Family Treatment Court, a realm where audio and visual recording privileges must be given by the court’s presiding judge.


Distinction with(out) Difference

Om March 25th, Presiding Judge Michael Nash continued his campaign to encourage media access to Los Angeles County’s historically closed juvenile dependency court, after a California appeals court had invalidated a similar, earlier order only this month.


Judge Pushes Back on Higher Court, Continues Press Access to Juvenile Dependency Hearings

Presiding Judge Michael Nash will send an amended version of his controversial (and now invalidated) order easing media access to Los Angeles County’s juvenile dependency court to fellow judges, attorneys and other stakeholders for review as early as next week.


    A Time for Trust

    In the six years that I have covered the foster care system and worked along its fractious point of contact with the news media, an all-too-common theme has been one of mistrust, fear and subsequent misinformation.