Juvenile Dependency - Parents for Parents Program
Superior Court offers a program to help parents whose children have been removed from their care by Child Protective Services (CPS) or whose children are in an in-home dependency. The program -- called “Parents for Parents” -- connects "Veteran Parents" (parents who have successfully navigated the juvenile dependency court system) with parents who are involved with the system. The Veteran Parents provide support and help parents new to the system understand what they must do to successfully reunite with their children.
The program consists of two main elements: Veteran Parent support at the Dependency Court Hearings and a two-hour educational class known as Dependency 101.
The Dependency Court Hearing. The first court hearing in a juvenile dependency case is called the 72-Hour Shelter Care Hearing. At this hearing, a judge or commissioner decides whether it is safe for the child to remain in the home or whether the child should be placed in out-of-home care. The focus of the hearing is to protect the child and offer ways for the parent to address the issues that led to the state’s involvement. The P4P program focuses on providing support at this hearing in particular as well as subsequent hearings.
Parents typically come to the Shelter Care Hearing feeling scared, confused, angry, and alone. A Veteran Parent meets with parents before they go into court and helps them understand that others have been through this process, reminding them that this process is doable and reunification is possible. This in turn encourages parents to engage in the dependency process and work with the professionals. The Veteran Parent also gathers contact information from the parent, signs him or her up for the Dependency 101 class, and provides any resources that can benefit them in their dependency case.
Dependency 101. Dependency 101 is a two-hour session designed to educate the parents about the dependency system and help them learn to navigate it. VPs and system stakeholders collaborate in presenting to the parents. During the class, the parents:
- Receive a packet with information on the dependency process, a calendar to track appointments, a list of important phone numbers, a Family Treatment Court pamphlet, a list of current community resources, and other tools to assist them;
- Watch an educational video about the dependency process;
- Listen to VPs share their experience with the dependency system;
- Hear a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), an assistant attorney general, a social worker, a Family Treatment Court representative, a Fathers Engagement Specialist, and a parent’s attorney discuss their roles in the dependency process and how they interact with parents, children, and the court.
The program currently operates at the Youth Service Center (Juvenile Court) in Seattle and at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
For more information call:
Seattle: (206) 205-9585
Kent: (206) 205-9739
Learn about the Parents for Parents Program on King County TV.