Almost 30,000 children who are victims of abuse and neglect are entrusted to the care of the Los Angeles County Juvenile Dependency Court system.
The court's primary mission is to ensure that these youth are safe, healthy, and secure. Whenever possible, the court strives to preserve and strengthen families so children can be raised in their own homes. When this is not possible, the court orders provision of temporary foster homes and supervises the children’s care.
The court works to ensure that all youth receive permanent homes in a timely fashion, either through reunification with their rehabilitated parents or through adoption, legal guardianship, or long-term foster care. In Los Angeles County Dependency Court proceedings, children are appointed their own attorney, usually a lawyer from the Children’s Law Center.
In an effort to be sensitive to children’s feelings and make the court proceedings less intimidating, Los Angeles established the country’s first courthouse especially designed for children and families. The Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court
in Monterey Park features twenty-five courtrooms designed to be more accessible to children. Well-appointed waiting areas reduce stress and trauma. Special areas accommodate family visits, and other areas provide activities to help occupy children awaiting court appearance. An auxiliary Dependency Court located in the Lancaster Courthouse serves children and families living in the Antelope Valley.
Use the links below to learn more about each courthouse, including location and contact information: