When someone makes a report about the safety of your child, the police or a social worker must investigate. They have to decide if the court should get involved so your child will be safe and protected.
If the police or social worker decides your child needs to be in temporary foster care to be safe, they will take your child away. This can be because your child:
After your child is taken away
You must tell the social worker the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the other parent or relatives who can take care of your child. The social worker will get in touch with them to see if they can give your child a safe place to live. This way, your child may not have to stay with a stranger.
Juvenile cases are very serious. They can change your life and your child’s life. Know your rights and how the court works. Talk to a lawyer. Click for help finding a lawyer.
Get in touch with the superior court in your county. If you cannot find the phone number or address for the juvenile court, call the court’s main number.
Read Caregivers and the Courts , which discusses juvenile dependency proceedings for caregivers and foster parents.
NOTE: If you are a ward or dependent of the juvenile court and are turning 18 on or after January 1, 2012 (or if you are between 18 and 20 and have previously been placed in a foster home), you may be entitled to extended foster care benefits beyond your 18th birthday. These benefits may include money for clothing and housing assistance, medical coverage, job placement services, school tuition and others. To find out if you are eligible, contact your current or former probation officer, social worker or lawyer. You can get more information at: www.fosteringconnections.org/california.
Children and Family Services Division
This site was created to help and protect needy and vulnerable children.
Emergency Response Hotline Numbers for County Child Protective Services
This site has a list of child protective services hotline telephone numbers for all California counties. Posted by the California Department of Social Services, Children and Family Services Division.
Every Child, Every Hearing
A booklet that provides information on how to ensure the daily well-being of children in foster care by enforcing their rights. Published by the Judicial Council of California.
Fight for Your Rights: A Guidebook for California Foster Youth, Former Foster Youth, and Those Who Care About Them A guidebook to inform foster youth, former foster youth, and advocates about the services and issues that are important to youth preparing for the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency.
LawHelpCalifornia: Child Abuse/Neglect
Links to information on the dependency court system, local resources for teens, and more. (Select your county or enter your zip code for information specific to the area that you live in.)
Queer & Trans Youth in California Foster Care Have Rights!
This brochure has information on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in California foster care. Created by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.