Juvenile Court Act - Dependency and Termination of Parent-Child Relationship
The Law: RCW 13.34
The Dependency proceedings include coordination and overseeing the legal and social processing of abused, neglected and/or dependent children as mandated by state and federal laws.
The Dependency process aids abused and neglected children to either be reunited with their families or find an alternative safe, permanent home.
Juvenile Court typically holds a myriad of hearings for over 1000 dependent children per year in Spokane County.
Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardian Ad Litem
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), advocate for children who have been abused and/or neglected and report to the court as to the best interest of the child.
Guardian Ad Litems (GAL) are paid staff who perform the same role as CASA volunteers.
CASA volunteers make recommendations, provide testimony and speak for the best interest of abused and neglected children both in judicial and non-judicial Dependency forums.
Spokane County maintains approximately 200 CASA Volunteers.
- GAL, or Guardian Ad Litems, are paid staff who do the same work as CASA volunteers.
- Spokane County currently has 5 Dependency Guardian Ad Litems.
In 2005, there was a monthly average of 882 Dependent Children in Spokane County. The number of children went up considerably in 2006 to a monthly average of 1004.