Benchbook 3rd Edition
The Pennsylvania Dependency Benchbook, 3rd edition is a comprehensive reference guide designed to assist family court judges and child dependency practitioners in the process of helping abused and neglected children and their families. The Benchbook was written by Pennsylvania judges for Pennsylvania judges.
The document is a comprehensive resource that combines Pennsylvania law, organized pragmatically to allow quick and efficient use, with a series of state and national best practices that will provide judges and practitioners, from the least to most experienced, with the best possible information to support children and families safely.
Read the Introductory Letter from Justice Max Baer
Chapter 1: The Charge for Pennsylvania’s Dependency System
Chapter 2: Act 14 of 2019 (formerly Act 55 of 2013) – Family Finding
Chapter 3: The Role of Judges and Hearing Officers
Chapter 5: Right to Legal Representation
Chapter 6: Entering the Child Welfare System/Shelter Care Hearing
Chapter 9: Incarcerated Parents
Download the Interactive Benchbook (.pdf 3.54 MB) Click on each Chapter in the Table of Contents to be guided directly to that Chapter. To easily return to the Table of Contents, click the icon in the top right corner.
To order a hardcopy of the Benchbook click here.
Chapter 12: Permanency Options
Chapter 13: Permanency Hearing
Chapter 14: Permanency Hearing to Consider Change of Goal
Chapter 15: Termination of Court Supervision
Chapter 16: Resumption of Jurisdiction
Chapter 17: Termination of Parental Rights
Chapter 21: Overview of Federal and State Child Welfare Legislation