Government creates and funds child welfare agencies to protect children who are abandoned, abused or neglected by their parents (or legal guardians).
When a child welfare agency acts on a child’s behalf, it commences what is called a juvenile dependency action in juvenile court. Strangers and extended family members with which the court places children are eligible for free and low cost government services and may be eligible for government stipends.
That is a different type of process and a different court than family court here in Florida (and many other states) or probate court in Illinois (and some other states), where child custody proceedings between parents (for the most part) are heard.
In Illinois, however, some are accusing the child welfare agency there of directing low-risk poor and overextended families to commence child custody proceedings in probate court themselves, rather than the agency initiating dependency proceedings in juvenile court.
Costing the family money it can’t afford and sacrificing benefits and stipends they could definitely use in caring for the children they take in.
But saving the government money and reducing child welfare case workers’ caseloads. Because social workers do not help or supervise children in family or probate courts.
Child welfare workers are alleged to have intimidated poor people into starting private proceedings in probate court in Illinois by worrying them that their relatives would be placed with strangers … or in institutions.