HARRISBURG – A new training video, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, will assist guardians ad litem-attorneys who represent the specific legal needs of abused and neglected children in dependency courts.
When Max Baer, now a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, began serving on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas family division bench in 1993, he had no background or education in child development or family dynamics and he was “faced with decisions that were purely in [his] own discretion” regarding children’s welfare, he said.
If Pennsylvania wants to eliminate truancy, the first step is to take it out of the courtroom. “I hate the word ‘truancy’ — it implies criminal behavior,” said Judge Joan Byer of the Family Trial Division of Jefferson Circuit Court in Louisville, Ky.
Today, beginning at 12:45 p.m., Pennsylvania’s second Children’s Roundtable Summit will kick off at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel where more than 350 judges and children and youth service professionals are expected to collaborate with national experts to enhance county specific plans to help abused and neglected children.
HARRISBURG, May 27, 2010—United by the common goal of improving the lives of abused and neglected children, judges, children and youth service administrators, and state and local child welfare experts from throughout the Commonwealth today convened in Harrisburg to kick off the fourth Annual State Children’s Roundtable.
The roundtable meeting began in 2007 as part of…
In November officials from more than 50 counties throughout the state participated in Pennsylvania’s first ever Children’s Roundtable Summit hosted by the State Supreme Court in Pittsburgh. Dependency court judges, solicitors and children and youth service professionals
collaborated with national experts at the three day event to develop county-specific plans aimed at helping to help abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes in a timely manner.
Zygmont Pines, Court Administrator
The first Pennsylvania Children’s Roundtable Summit, sponsored by the AOPC’s Office of Children and Families in the Courts, was held Nov. 19-21 in Pittsburgh. To highlight how far we have come in a short period of time, I offered the following remarks at the opening session.
This initiative’s history and progress are worth documenting.
Dependency Court Judges, Children and Youth Officials Collaborate to Help Dependent Children
HARRISBURG, November 18, 2009 – On Thursday, November 19 beginning at 1p.m. in the Pittsburgh Omni William Penn, the State Supreme Court will host Pennsylvania’s First Annual Children’s Roundtable Summit where county dependency court judges, and children and youth service professionals will collaborate with national experts to develop county specific plans to help abused and neglected children. Your coverage is invited.
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justices J. Michael Eakin and Max Baer, will be present. Chief Justice Castille, Allegheny County President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel, and State Court Administrator Zygmont Pines will provide opening remarks for the three-day summit. Sandy Moore, Administrator, Office of Children and Families in the Courts, and Lehigh County Common Pleas Court Judge Brian Johnson will present a Child Dependency System Mission Statement & Guiding Principles document and unveil a Dependency System Logo and new Office of Children and Families in the Court’s (OCFC) website aimed at assisting judges and legal professionals, parents and families, and children with dependency issues.
The new child dependency website can be found at www.ocfcpacourts.us.
Officials from more than 50 counties throughout the state will be participating in the summit. They will hear from national experts, including Judge Stephen Rubin, Pima County, Arizona; Judge Charles Pratt, Allen County, Indiana; Judith Silver, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Larry Brown, Casey Family Programs Consultant, and Barbara Needell, PhD, Researcher, University of California at Berkeley. These experts will provide a national perspective of the work being done to help dependent children and families and share strategies used to successfully address issues similar to those facing Pennsylvania’s child dependency system.