A dependent child, in the context of the juvenile justice system, is a child who is in need of protective care or supervision due to neglect, abuse, or other circumstances.
Dependent children may be removed from their homes and placed in the custody of the state or another agency in order to ensure their safety and well-being. Dependent children are often involved in the juvenile justice system through the child welfare system, which protects the rights and interests of children at risk of harm. Dependent children may be placed in foster care, group homes, or other residential placements, and they may be provided with services such as counseling, education, and medical care. The goal of the child welfare system is to provide support and services to help dependent children and their families address the issues that led to the child’s dependency and achieve stability and self-sufficiency.