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Services for Family Members

Services for Family Members

A lot of kids are in Juvenile Dependency Court because their parents have drug problems. The Court works with the Department of Alcohol and Drug Services to evaluate and treat the parents

You can get drug abuse assessment right away at the Family Justice Center Courthouse (Drug Court). Your lawyer can help you make an appointment.

An expert will make a treatment plan. That can be:

  • In-patient or residential treatment
  • Living in a therapeutic housing unit (THU)
  • Serious out-patient treatment
  • AA/NA meetings
  • Getting a sponsor
  • Drug tests, or
  • Other things like going to the Juvenile Dependency Drug Treatment court

Dependency Wellness Court helps parents with substance abuse issues to become better parents and to work at reunifying with their children as a family. The program involves many community organizations and the Court working together collaboratively to connect parents with valuable resources and support.

Dependency Wellness Court serves families with open dependency cases. Parents may be referred by the Judge overseeing their dependency case, or by their attorney or mentor parent. Parents with children ages 0-18 are welcome. To learn more about Dependency Wellness Court, view the program brochure, or contact your attorney or mentor parent if you are interested in learning more or enrolling.

Victims of crime can get services and money including up to $10,000 for mental health treatment.

  • If you are a direct victim of crime, you can get these services. You can get services if you saw domestic violence (even a child). You can also get these services if you take care of a child who saw crime, like domestic violence.
  • To get these services, contact the social worker on the case.

If you have a mental health problem, call the Santa Clara County Department of Mental Health for services at:

Or, go to their website: .

The Court often orders parents to parenting classes. This can be part of their case plan. There are many parenting classes in different languages. But, for the class to count for your case plan, the social worker has to approve it.

The Court can also order a parent to go to a Parenting Without Violence Class. This is a special class for parents who have been violent with their children.

Many families go to juvenile court because one of the parents is violent. Or, because the parents have a violent relationship. The Dependency Court can make orders to stop the violence.

  • Domestic violence assessments:

    The Dependency Court can order 1 or both parents to have a domestic violence assessment. This shows what services the parents need.

  • Batterer’s Intervention Services:

    The Dependency Court can order the abuser (batterer) to go to a batterer’s program. These programs last 52 weeks.

  • Other family services:

    The court can order a parent to go to:

    The Court can order caretakers to take the children to counseling or assessments. This can help them deal with the violence they saw.

    • Anger management classes
    • Parenting without violence classes
    • Counseling, or
    • Other services that can end the violence in the family
  • Services for victims of domestic violence:

    The Court can tell a victim where to get help. Usually, the Court recommends a domestic violence agency. These agencies have different services for victims of violence, like:

    • Advocacy
    • Domestic violence advocates
    • Legal help
    • Group meetings
    • Temporary housing

The Dependency Court has mediation for all the families that go to the court. Mediation is private. Two mediators meet with both sides and the lawyers. They try to agree on a plan that is best for the child.

Anyone can ask for mediation at any time. But, only the court can decide if you can go to mediation. The Court will set the date and tell the mediators.

You can have a mediator that speaks Spanish.

The mediators will know if the petition says there was domestic violence. They will know if one of the parties is an abuser. They will take special steps to make sure that the mediation is safe for everyone.

The Department of Family and Children’s Services has Family Conferencing. A family conference is when the family, friends, a specialist and others get together. They talk about how to take care of and protect a child. The social worker decides to have a Family Conference.

To learn more, call:
(408) 501-6300

The Dependency Court tries to make sure every child gets the education they need.

Some of the things they can do are:

  • Test the child to find out what kind of education they need.
  • Make an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) if one of the parties asks for it.
  • If the child doesn’t live at home, they’ll try to take them to the school they went to when they lived at home.
  • If the child doesn’t live with the parents, and the parents can’t participate in the child’s education, the court can take away the parents’ rights to make educational decisions. The court will ask the SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) Office to name an “educational surrogate” for the child.

The person who takes care of the child has to make sure the child gets health care. The health specialists in the Department of Family and Children’s Services and the Public Health Agency will help.

The Health and Education Passport will keep a record of the child’s health. This will follow the child wherever they go. Parents should tell the social worker if the child has special health needs.

For more information, check out the list of Juvenile Resources.