Core One: An Attorney’s Introduction to

Pennsylvania’s Dependency System

In 2010 a Pre-Service educational DVD was developed by the State Roundtable’s Legal Representation Workgroup. The Pre-Service DVD was required for all new GALs if the county wished to receive federal Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act (CAPTA) reimbursement for GAL services through their county Children & Youth Needs Based Plan & Budget.   

To improve upon this tool and provide a learning opportunity for all attorneys, the Office of Children & Families in the Courts has developed an online educational module entitled Core One: An Attorney’s Introduction to Pennsylvania’s Dependency System. This module was created exclusively for GALs, Child Counsel, Parent Attorneys, and Agency Solicitors. This online module replaces the original Pre-Service DVD and now serves as the GAL CAPTA requirement noted above. This online module also serves as a pre-requisite for any advanced attorney education developed by the Office of Children & Families in the Courts. While the initial Core I education in 2011 also satisfies as a pre-requisite to future sessions, the online module provides updated laws, rules, and best practices incorporated into dependency cases over the past ten years.

The online module covers the following topics:

  • The Charge for Pennsylvania’s Dependency System
  • Role of Juvenile Court Hearing Officers
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Grief, Loss, and Trauma
  • Legal Representation
  • Analyzing Child Safety
  • Family Finding and Family Group Decision Making
  • Visitation
  • Reasonable Efforts
  • Entering the Child Dependency System/Emergency Protective Custody
  • Shelter Care
  • Adjudication
  • Disposition
  • Permanency
  • Termination of Court Supervision

The module begins with a Pre-Course Knowledge Check, which will be used to improve course content. At the end of the course, attorneys will complete a Final Knowledge Check, which will be scored. That score will be printed on the certificate of completion, which should be printed and used as proof of completion.

Technical questions or comments should be sent to Elke Moyer at [email protected].

To request access to the course click here.