External Communications

Courts

For the sake of the children and families involved, the public child welfare agency and the 

associated court system that oversees dependency cases need to be aligned. Each shares the same 

goals: to keep children and youth safe and to secure safe, permanent homes for children. In 

addition, since research indicates that children exposed to abuse and neglect are at an increased 

risk of being arrested as juveniles for a delinquent act, the court that oversees such offenses 

also needs to be included in a public child welfare communications plan.

 

Open and candid communications between the courts and the public child welfare agency serves two 

important purposes. Firstly, when responding to media inquiries, it is helpful to have a general 

knowledge of how the judicial branch of government operates - their constraints and 

responsibilities. This allows the agency spokesperson to be more complete in their responses. 

Secondly, if the judicial system and the public child welfare system have a broad understanding of 

the other’s role and responsibilities, both are better able to work together to achieve their 

goals, resulting in better service coordin tion and better outcomes for children, youth

and families involved. Communications can assist to strengthen these relationships

 






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