California Bench Card: Ensuring Normalcy and Well-Being Through Participation in Enrichment Activities

Published On: October 10, 2023

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Research has conclusively demonstrated that court-involved children and adolescents present with extremely high rates of traumatic stress caused by their adverse life experiences.  Participation in enrichment activities can help young people heal, promote supportive social connections, and provide opportunities to develop valuable skills. Unfortunately, the conditions of foster care often lead to restricting and deprioritizing activities that most youth raised in families access as part of their childhood. The court plays a central role in ensuring that enrichment activities are prioritized for youth in foster care. This Bench Card provides judges with useful questions and guidelines to help make findings and orders to support participation in enrichment activities, based on research on child development and trauma, as well as state and federal law.

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