Academic Help Center (AHC) (215-686-7797) exists to, Help bridge school-based resources and Family Court services to support families (by providing) Education consultation and Philadelphia School District records, to Link and refer supportive services and resources, and ensure Positive educational outcomes. The AHC serves to bridge the gap between the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Family Court, to assist young people in having a successful educational experience.
Accelerated Adoption Review Court (AARC) is a specialized courtroom dedicated to examining cases where parental rights have been terminated, however the adoption has not been finalized.
Behavioral Health Services-Family Court Unit (BHS-FCU) (215-686-8812) Community Behavioral Health (CBH) and the Behavioral Health Forensic Evaluation Center (BHFEC) provides behavioral health services at the courthouse to court involved children, youth and families. These health services allow for better communication between the Court, CBH and BHFEC. Better communication results in a time effective process and provides available resources at the courthouse for families who are at risk and often unable to navigate multiple complicated systems without assistance. CBH’s Community Umbrella Agency (CUA) Care Coordination Team continues to ensure that children, youth, and families have access to and are provided with quality behavioral health services within their communities. The role of the CBH CUA Care Coordination Team is to synthesize and formulate behavioral health information so that the respective CUA’s, understand the context of experiences (e.g., trauma, mental health, addiction) and how it relates to current behaviors, symptoms, and need for treatment, coordinate meetings with respective treatment providers and when team meetings need to be held, decide if behavioral health concerns are elevating to a point where immediate action needs to be taken, and assist the CUAs in determining a need for high levels of care for children and youth.
Clinical Evaluation Unit (CEU) (215-568-7752) assesses family members for drug and alcohol problems, refers them to treatment, and provides the Court with progress reports for subsequent hearings. Referral to the drug and alcohol unit is available, by referral from the Judge, to any person who has a perceived or substantiated substance use problem/concern. The case will continue to be monitored and reported on until a case is removed from DHS supervision and administratively discharged from the courts by the Judge.
Pre-Hearing Conferences To better serve all of the dependency courtrooms, Family Court utilizes two full-time Pre-Hearing Conference Rooms. Every court case begins with a Pre-Hearing Conference that involves all parties and is moderated by a facilitator. An assessment of the problems causing the child abuse or neglect is made. Expectations of the court are explained and responsibilities are delineated. Behavioral Health and Drug/Alcohol needs are assessed. In many cases, agreements are reached and the facilitator submits recommendations to the Court on placements, visitation, behavioral health evaluations, and services. Addressing these problems at the outset holds out hope for family preservation or reunification.
Prevention Services Unit (215-686-8328) is a voluntary program that seeks to prevent children and families from entering into the Delinquent and Dependent Court systems. The primary goal is to enable families during challenging times to remain intact and receive the necessary support and services to build upon the strengths of families to avoid further intervention by the Child Welfare System. In collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS), families are referred to community-based services to help parents strengthen their families and raise their children in loving, safe and nurturing homes.
Victim Services Unit (215-686-7060) works directly with victims of juvenile crime, providing information and other assistance. The purpose of the Victim Services Unit is to reduce the trauma of crime by assisting the victim and their family members in reconstructing and restoring their lives through advocacy, support, information, and referrals. One of the main goals of the Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) principles is to hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions. Victim Services carefully monitors the restitution of our youth and works closely with Probation Officers and the District Attorney’s Office to ensure victims are being compensated. Currently, the unit provides all services as listed in the Crime Victims Act for Victims of Juvenile Offenders, the Juvenile Act, and the PA Rules of Juvenile Court Procedures. Some of these services include but are not limited to, the provision of victim notification services, sending address confirmation forms, providing information to victims on their rights, informing victims of the amount of restitution ordered, the status of restitution payments, and act as liaison with Probation Officers and victims.