Dependency Court is the end of the line for dysfunctional families. It’s where the judge rules that the child is dependent on the State, because the child can no longer depend upon his parents. We’re talking seriously dysfunctional here – parents who beat or sexually molest their own kids, or abandon them while doing alcohol, drugs or something worse. The child goes off to foster care, while the parent gets a reunification plan – get clean and sober and stay that way, and demonstrate a commitment to parental responsibility. If the parent can’t handle the plan, the judge severs the legal relationship between the parent and the child, allowing for adoption by a new parent. You’d think Dependency Courts would be the last courts to get the budgetary axe. Think again. My local Courthouse in Vista now has two Dependency Courts. One of them will soon be eliminated. Oh, and the Clerk’s office already has fewer clerks and shorter hours. Compare what’s been cut to what’s been added (train to nowhere, anyone?), but sit down before you do. Maybe we need some kind of dependency court to sever the relationship between Sacramento and the rest of us.
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