Key Takeaway

This brief discusses the statewide uptick in in court involvement with children entering care and opportunities for future exploration to better understand the implications of this trend.

Court involvement for children entering out-of-home care, i.e., filing dependency petitions, has been on the rise from 2001-2011, with a sharp increase beginning in 2009. Though there is regional variation, the upward trend is statewide. This was associated with an increase in the amount of time children spend in out-of-home care. Additional data and analysis will help to understand both the rise in court involved cases and the effects on the system.