Calif. judge’s open court stirs child welfare debate
Flaws in system balanced against impact on victims
A California judge’s decision to open a county’s child welfare hearings earlier this year has energized a debate among advocates in other states about whether greater transparency helps or harms the young victims appearing in family court. When a child is abused or neglected, there’s a family court hearing to discuss the victim’s future. In nearly 20 states, including Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois, those hearings are usually open to the public and there is a push among child welfare advocates to open them in other states.