SACRAMENTO—The Judicial Council adopted a resolution at its October 27 meeting proclaiming November 2015 to be “Court Adoption and Permanency Month” in California. Working with the Governor, the Legislature, local courts and court partners, the council recognizes statewide the ongoing efforts and achievements of juvenile courts and their justice partners in providing children and families with access to fair, understandable judicial proceedings leading to timely, well-informed, and just permanency outcomes.
Prior to the council signing the resolution, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-7th District) presented to the council a similar resolution he authored and sponsored in the Legislature. He was introduced by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jerilyn L. Borack, cochair of the Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee.
Assemblymember McCarty's action reinstates the Legislature's annual tradition of recognizing the importance of adoption in a resolution, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 103. "We know that young people who age out of our foster care system without a permanent connection to family, responsible adult or individual, are much more likely to be involved in harmful behaviors," he said. "I appreciate the Judicial Council stepping up on this, as well."
Foster youth advocate Athena Madison told her story of finding a parent just as she was about to age out of the system. "I'm very grateful for being given the opportunity and the gifts to stabilize my life," she shared (listen)
Guardians and foster care advocates Donna Dobbins and Devon Bradford attended in support of the resolution, later standing for a photo with Athena, Assemblymember McCarty, the Chief Justice, and Judge Borack.
Local Court Adoption Events
Throughout the month, courts will hold events finalizing adoptions. In Los Angeles, on November 5, the court will process an adoption from the delinquency system, only the eighth such adoption in the state.
Foster Care Statistics
- Almost 500,000 reports of child abuse and neglect are made each year in California, and more than 23,000 children enter foster care.
- Of the approximate 62,900 children in California living apart from their families in foster care, 38% have been apart from their families for more than two years. 38 percent will not leave the foster care system within two years; 9,800 will remain in “temporary” foster care for more than five years.
- 24% of foster youth are transitional age at 16-20 years old.
In fiscal year 2014 (ending June 2014), more than 26,000 were able to leave foster care:
- 57% reunited with family
- 22% adopted
- 6% emancipated (aged out)
This is the 17th consecutive year the council has called attention both to the successes achieved by the courts and the need for continuing efforts to achieve family reunification, adoption, and permanency for children.