Judge Leonard Edwards (ret.)

“It must be understood that the best interests of a child are to find a safe, nurturing and permanent home for the child as soon as possible. Even with the heroic efforts of social workers and judges, it is not possible to predict the future with 100% accuracy. Temporary placement of children is damaging, although health and safety concerns often require it. A decision not to ‘decide’ is in reality a potentially damaging decision with long term implications for the child. Judicial officers must be leaders in ensuring that the safeguards provided for in the child protection process allow for the best decisions to be made within the realm of existing knowledge, and acknowledge that making decisions in these cases is not for the faint of heart.”

—The Honorable Judge Leonard Edwards (ret.)

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Welcome to the Juvenile Court Judges Corner, a website started by Judge Leonard Edwards (ret.) in a continuing effort to benefit judges and other professionals working in the juvenile court. This website contains information about Judge Edwards, his publications, presentations, and videos all of which are devoted to improving outcomes for children and families who appear in juvenile and family courts.

Recent Postings in Judge Edwards’s Blog

Court Improvement: Legal Language and the Juvenile Dependency System

Court Improvement: Two Significant Legislative Changes in Dependency Law

The Role of the Juvenile Court Judge: Some Thoughts About Judicial Responsibilities

Court Improvement: The Role of the Juvenile Court Judge Regarding the Education of Children In Juvenile Court

Working with Foreign Countries: The State of Juvenile Justice (by Jay D. Blitzman, used with permission) 

The Indian Child Welfare Act (video): Thoughts on the Importance of ICWA Active Efforts

The Role of the Juvenile Court Judge: The Trauma of Removal

Working with Foreign Countries: Sealing Juvenile Records: The Importance of a Clean Slate [podcast 19:30]

Court Improvement: The Trauma of Removal

News & Commentary/CASA: Books Recommended for Juvenile Court Judges: and Others

Court Improvement: Is the Sealing of Juvenile Records Working in Your Court?

Court Improvement: Record Sealing: Its Importance for Rehabilitation

Improving Outcomes for Foster Youth: Mentor-Tutor Connection: A Program For Every Community

The Role of the Juvenile  Court Judge: Opinion: Kids in Common provides strong voice for county children

Court Improvement: Comments on “Confronting Indeterminacy and Bias in Child Protection Law” by Josh Gupta-Kagan

Court Improvement: Mentors For Parents: A Best Practice In Dependency Proceedings

Engaging the Family: My Experience With Orphanages

Court Improvement: Judicial Issues in Child Maltreatment

News & Commentary: Reasonable Efforts, 2nd Edition, Book Announcement

Court Improvement: Judicial Issues in Child Maltreatment

Court Improvement and Engaging the Family: Placement Matters

News & Commentary: Guest Interview podcast on The Imprint, Youth & Family News

Court Improvement: Congregate Care and Placement Decisions in Juvenile Court Proceedings

NEW 2nd Edition of Groundbreaking Book for Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Significant Cases: Summary of California appellate cases dealing with Reasonable Efforts (1/2022)

NEW 2nd Edition of Groundbreaking Book for Juvenile and Family Court Judges

REASONABLE EFFORTS: A Judicial Perspective

“This book builds upon Judge Edwards’ first edition.  Among other things, it includes discussions of over 100 new cases, significant additions to the section on the ICWA, new sections on placement with relatives and engaging fathers, best practices for attorneys, the relationship between judges and directors of social services, a summary of recent national trends from national experts, three new appendices, and a discussion on one way to change court practice regarding judicial attention to reasonable efforts.

“This critical and informative resource belongs on every juvenile court judge’s bench, in every juvenile court attorney’s office, and must be included in all social worker training.  The ultimate beneficiaries will be the vulnerable children and their families that our system is designed to serve.”

—Judge Michael Nash (ret.)
Executive Director
Los Angeles Office of Child Protection

book cover for Reasonable Efforts: A Judicial Perspective, 2nd edition

[2014 First Edition remains available for a limited time]


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