Courts & Child Welfare
The Superior Court and Child Welfare Initiative focuses on our county’s most vulnerable children and their families who are involved in the Family, Juvenile Justice, and Dependency Systems as well as concurrent involvement with other courts.
Serving families in the Superior Court and Child Welfare system provides a unique opportunity for parents and caregivers to access the supports and resources they need to strengthen their skills and abilities to promote their children’s optimal development and provide safe, stable, and loving homes.
FIRST 5’s partnership with the Superior Court began in 2002, serving children and families in only one Family Court location. Based on the success of the initial partnership, the FIRST 5 Commission approved an expansion of services that now includes five Family Court locations, the Juvenile Justice Court and the Juvenile Dependency Court.
FIRST 5 supports families in accessing services they could otherwise not afford, including supervised visitation subsides, drug court treatment coordinators, and case managers to ensure families understand, access, and comply with court ordered services.
Family Support Specialists also provide developmental screenings and needs assessments, while connecting families to FIRST 5 and community programs. Staff is stationed in each of the Family Court Houses to connect directly on-site with families and to receive referrals.
Dependency Wellness Court
In January 2013, the grant- funded Family Wellness Court for Infants and Toddlers project went to scale in the Santa Clara County Dependency Court System and was renamed Dependency Wellness Court. This expansion allows essential services to be effectively coordinated and delivered across all agencies for parents/caregivers with substance abuse issues and their children, regardless of age, while maintaining a focus on children birth though age 5.
Public Health Nurses
Public Health Nurses provide care coordination and follow-up services to fully address the health and developmental needs of families and young children who are involved with the child welfare system.
Additionally, PHNs provide intensive home visitation services for families with medically fragile infants. Nurses support these vulnerable families to ensure they develop the skills needed to care for their medically fragile young children, support their transition in placement or reunification, and connect families to specialized medical services.