MAKING THE COURT SYSTEM WORK BETTER FOR CHILDREN
25 Things Your Court Can Do

Comfort for Court Kids®, Inc., is a publicly supported charity created for the specific mission of helping abused and neglected children cope with their experiences at dependency court. Each child who encounters this system is given a stuffed teddy bear.

IMPORTANCE
A courthouse can be a new and intimidating experience for children. In the dependency system, children may become confused about their families, their lives, and their identities. The teddy bear is a universal symbol of love and affection* and, as such, can assist children in coping with very real and difficult situations.

Terry Friedman, Former Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Division of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, has declared: "The court has long encouraged Comfort for Court Kids® to distribute teddy bears to foster children and other children in our dependency system. Our support for use of teddy bears is founded upon our experience that they help children to better participate in court proceedings. Most children who appear in our court are frightened by their uncertain future as well as the formality of the court. Holding a teddy bear provides these children with a greater sense of security, enabling them to answer judges' questions and speak openly to their attorney. For these reasons, the court considers providing teddy bears to dependent children to be a service, not a gift."

RESOURCES NEEDED
The bears cost between $2.00 and $2.50 each, when purchased from Fiesta.

EASE OF REPLICATION
Comfort for Court Kids® is willing to assist any jurisdiction in establishing a similar program as long as there is a request from the presiding judge in the county. The program can be tailored to the individual county's needs.

* The statement "The teddy bear is a universal symbol of love and affection" is a trademark of Comfort for Court Kids®, Inc.





The depiction of any children on this website does not constitute a violation of WIC 827, California Rule of Court 1423 of Los Angeles Superior Court Dependency Court Rules Chapter 17.2, Sections (e) and (f).
The Teddy Bear ... a universal symbol of love and affection...®
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