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Additional Judges and Resources for Family Court

With the important goal of reducing the time that children are kept in foster care, New York’s Permanency Legislation was passed in 2005. This legislation sought to achieve faster placement into permanent homes for children in foster care by providing more frequent and continuous judicial and agency review of a family’s situation. One of the key provisions of the act was to require a permanency hearing once every six months, rather than every twelve months as under prior law. The permanency legislation also provided for continuing family court jurisdiction over parties after a child enters foster care until after final adoption of that child, continuous legal representation for children and parents in these cases, and inclusion of 18-21 year old children voluntarily placed in foster care.

In the years since the enactment of the permanency legislation, evidence indicates that Family Court, the Administration for Children’s Services, advocates for parents and children, and New York’ City’s numerous foster care agencies are trying in good faith to meet the objectives of the legislation. However, it is clear that these efforts are being undermined by a lack of resources that leaves the system stretched too thin.

The always overburdened and under-funded Family Court faces crushing caseloads and a lack of resources that are leaving society’s most vulnerable citizens, including children and victims of domestic violence with unacceptable court delays. Additional resources are needed to meet these challenges and to meaningfully fulfill the objectives of the legislation.

Family Court Judges

A.10139 (AM Weinstein) / S.7883 (Sen. Bonacic) - would amend the Family Court Act to establish 25 new Family Court judgeships.


Statement in support of more family court judges in New York - Lobby Day March 5, 2014.


Report in support of the Judiciary's 2014-2015 Budget Request, including funding for additional Family Court judges, February 2014.


A.8957-A (AM Weinstein) / S.5968-A (Sen. Sampson) – Would provide for additional family court judges in the city of New York and certain counties throughout New York State. (2009/2010 Legislative Sessions)

  • Letters written to Governor Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from the Council on Children urging an increase in the number of family court judges, June 2009
  • Letter to members of the Assembly asking that A.8957 be placed on the agenda for a vote in a special session of the Assembly, October 2009.
  • Report in support of legislation by the Council on Children, April 2010.


Testimony by the Council on Children before the New York State Bar Association Task Force on the Family Court, January 11, 2012.