Digital Stories | Handbook
As a means to promote the safety, permanency and well-being for all New York State children in out-of-home care, the Commission is working to increase the participation of children in permanency hearings– special court hearings where the health, well-being and future steps for children in out-of-home care are reviewed and determined with the goal of achieving permanency for these children.
Meaningful participation in their hearings will empower children, help New York State comply with recent federal and New York State laws requiring Family Court judges to consult with children in an age-appropriate manner at all permanency hearings, and ultimately produce better fact-finding that will lead to better decisions and better outcomes for children and their families.
To ensure the youth voice – the youth perspective – is heard and included in discussions on engaging children and youth in their court proceedings, the Commission working the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the New York State Court Improvement Project and Youth in Progress, developed digital stories in web-based and DVD formats.
The Tools for Engaging Children in Their Court Proceedings handbook highlights the developmental stages of school-age children (ages 5 to 20 years), provides a series of age-appropriate questions and tips on how to engage children in their court proceedings.