Juvenile Dependency/CPS in Orange County


Navigating Juvenile Dependency Court in Orange County can be overwhelming. This article provides essential insights for parents and guardians.

What is Juvenile Dependency Court?

Juvenile Dependency Court handles cases of alleged child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Partnering with Child Protective Services (CPS), its primary goals are:

  • Protect the child: Ensure safety.
  • Preserve the family: Keep families together when safe.
  • Provide a stable home: Find a permanent home if reunification isn’t possible.

The Role of CPS

CPS investigates reports of abuse or neglect, conducts home visits, collaborates with law enforcement, and provides family support services.

The Juvenile Dependency Court Process

  1. Investigation and Petition: CPS investigates and may file a petition if abuse/neglect is found.
  2. Detention Hearing: Determines if the child stays home or is placed in foster care.
  3. Jurisdictional Hearing: Assesses CPS evidence to confirm risk.
  4. Dispositional Hearing: Decides the child’s care plan, including reunification services or foster care.
  5. Review Hearings: Regularly checks family progress and child safety.
  6. Permanency Planning Hearing: Finds a long-term solution if reunification isn’t possible.

The Best Interest of the Child

The child’s safety, well-being, emotional needs, and preference guide all proceedings.


Understanding Juvenile Dependency Court in Orange County helps parents navigate these challenges. Seek legal advice to protect your rights and ensure the child’s best interests, aiming for a safe, loving, permanent home.

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