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Improvement Publications

Dependency Outlook Newsletter

The Office of Court Improvement is pleased to present The Dependency Outlook newsletter. The newsletter will be distributed quarterly, and will cover local and statewide dependency initiatives, promising practices, dependency court events, and training opportunities. You may view the newsletter by clicking on the following link:

  • Summer 2014 Newsletter PDF
  • Spring 2014 Newsletter PDF
  • Winter 2014 Newsletter PDF
  • Fall 2013 Newsletter PDF
  • Summer 2013 Newsletter PDF
  • Spring 2013 Newsletter PDF

Video Projects

"Make Your Voice Heard: A Guide to Dependency Court” is a video for youth ages 12 to 18 that explains what happens in dependency court and encourages youth to participate in their hearings.

If you have a low speed / dialup internet connection, click on the link below to view the video.

A Family Guide to Dependency Court” is a video that was jointly developed by the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court and the Office of Court Improvement. The video provides an overview of the dependency court system for parents involved in the system.

"Mythbreakers: Chapter 39 Injunctions" is a video that discusses common myths and misconceptions associated with the Chapter 39 injunction process. It also discusses the differences between Chapter 39 injunctions and Chapter 741 injunctions.

This video has been distributed to stakeholders throughout Florida, including Guardians ad Litem, court personnel, and judges who may review such petitions or who are on either the domestic violence or the dependency bench.

Please click the link below to view the video. Please note: if you would like to view the view with subtitles you will need to make sure that your viewer has the closed captioning features turned on. (Windows Media Player: to turn on captions go to Play - Lyrics/Captions/Subtitles - If available. You many also need to go to Tools - Options - Security - check the box "show local captions when present.")

Mythbreakers: Chapter 39 Injunctions (Transcript RTF and PDF)

Court Guides

Dependency court guides have been developed to assist those who are involved in the dependency court system. Below are guides for young children, older youth, parents, and caregivers.

What's Happening in Dependency Court - A guide for young children (508)

  • PDF
  • This booklet is intended for young children who are in court for their dependency hearings. It aims to introduce children to the dependency court process, the people who work in the judicial system, and the vocabulary that surrounds judicial proceedings. It is meant to be used as a teaching tool that may foster conversations between children and adults about the dependency court system, and as a game book that gives children who are in court something to do while they wait.

My Future Depends On It! A Guide to Dependency Court for Teens

  • PDF
  • The comic book is designed to help teenagers understand and navigate the dependency court process. It answers many common questions about foster care and the reunification process.

Hearing Your Voice: A Dependency Guide for Youth

  • PDF
  • This booklet is intended for older youth who are in court for their dependency hearings. It has answers to some common questions youth have when involved in the dependency system. This guide informs youth of their rights, describes each dependency court hearing, provides helpful tips, and explains common vocabulary used in the dependency court.

A Parent's Guide to Juvenile Dependency Court - Case Plan insert

  • PDF
  • This booklet is intended for parents who are involved in dependency court. It aims to introduce parents to the dependency court process, the people who work in the judicial system, and the vocabulary that surrounds judicial proceedings. This guide informs parents of their rights, explains what happens in court, and contains helpful information to help parents understand what is going on and why.

A Caregivers Guide to Dependency Court

  • PDF RTF
  • This guide is intended for caregivers of children who are in foster care, relative care, non-relative care, and pre-adoptive care. Caregivers are important in the court process because their knowledge assists the judges in making informed decisions about the safety and well-being of children. This guide informs caregivers of their rights, describes each dependency court hearing, provides helpful tips, and gives information about the court process for older youth who may be in their care.

Psychotropic Medications Judicial Reference Guide

  • PDF
  • This guide is intended to be used by Florida judges to learn about psychotropic medications, and their interaction with other drugs and with mental health disorders. It is not intended for dissemination to the public, and its use is as an informal guide, not as a substitute for professional medical guidance.