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Juvenile Dependency Court

This court hears matters concerning abuse or neglect to determine whether a minor should be made a ward of the Court. Unlike delinquency or status offender proceedings, dependency proceedings are initially directed towards demonstrating that the parent has harmed or is unable to properly care for his or her child. If Juvenile Court jurisdiction is established, the court will then determine whether the minor should be removed from the parent's custody and, if so, what placement would be more appropriate for the minor's needs. Services are offered to parents to assist them in the proper care of their children. Social workers and other professionals assist the court in evaluating the needs of minors. Parents and children may be appointed counsel to represent them in these proceedings.

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