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A Conversation About the Dependency Alternative Program
Original Program Date :
Length: 01:26


DAP is an innovative differentiated court case management approach resulting from multi-system collaboration that identified gaps and solutions in the court and child welfare systems. This cost-saving, replicable program empowers and strengthens families and enhances access to justice using defined criteria. Self-represented litigants who tried to navigate the family and probate court processes had difficulty accessing the court in time to avoid the filing of a dependency petition. We recognized if the court were to provide accelerated access to the parent or family for legal alternatives to custody, we could dismiss dependency petitions before the preliminary protective hearing and prevent DCS or private dependency filings. Access to justice is enhanced for families by the opportunity to avoid involvement in a dependency case when family law or guardianship orders will keep children safe. Our goals were: (1) divert dependency cases in a protective manner while conserving time, money, and resources, and (2) provide a stable legal outcome by keeping the families who reach a legal resolution through DAP out of the child welfare system.

Panelists: 
Ray S. Rivas, Director, Juvenile Division Pima County Clerk of Superior Court
Kasey Coughlin, Unit Supervisor, Adult Dependency Unit Legal Defender's Office
Jenny Zelt, Family, Drug Court Supervisor, Juvenile Division Pima County Superior Court
Stacey Brad, Director Child and Family Court Services, Juvenile Division Pima County Superior Court
Verne Hill,Office of Court Appointed Counsel Pima County
Jennie Hoekstra, FH/GH Investigations Supervisor Department of Child Safety
Carey Turner, Unit Chief Counsel, Acting Tucson PSS Arizona Attorney General's Office
Erica Forsch, Assistant Attorney, General Protective Services Section Office of the Attorney General
Kathleen Quigley, Judge, Pima County Superior Court, Juvenile

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