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ANDRE LOWRY AND JEFFREY LOWRY (11/20/84)

decided: November 20, 1984.

IN RE ANDRE LOWRY AND JEFFREY LOWRY, MINORS. IN RE LINDA DIAZ, ALSO KNOWN AS JOHANNA BERCELI, A MINOR. IN RE RONALD ZIEGER, A MINOR. IN RE KATHLEEN BERGER, A MINOR. IN RE TRACEY MITCHELL, A MINOR. IN RE LEONARD BROOKS, A MINOR. IN RE SNOWLEY BROOKS, A MINOR. IN RE JULIE BRISON, A MINOR. IN RE HEATHER BROOKS, A MINOR. IN RE SARAH AYERS, A MINOR. IN RE LISA ANN ANGELO, A MINOR. IN RE CARMEN ANN JONES, A MINOR. IN RE JOSEPH EVANGELISTA (BROWN), A MINOR. APPEAL OF CHILD ADVOCACY LEGAL AID SOCIETY


No. 20 W.D. Appeal Docket, 1984, Appeal from the Order of Superior Court entered July 8, 1983 at Nos. 295, 301, 368, 436, 448, 822, 823, 825, 875 Pittsburgh 1981 and Nos. 244, 635, 722, 949 Pittsburgh 1982, remanding to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Family Division, Juvenile Section at Nos. 2060 & 2061 of 1980; 171 of 1981; 1007 of 1980; 680 of 1979; 1110 of 1979; 1279 of 1981; 1280 of 1981; 834 of 1981; 1278 of 1981; 98 of 1982; 1754 of 1978; 605 of 1982; and 3656 of 1977, Pa. Superior Ct. , Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, Hutchinson, Zappala, and Papadakos, JJ. Zappala, J., concurs in the result. McDermott, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Flaherty

[ 506 Pa. Page 124]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal by Child Advocacy Legal Aid Society from an order of the Superior Court,*fn1 remanding these thirteen consolidated appeals to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County for inquiry as to whether the homes into which the court placed the dependent children, the subject of these appeals, were approved as foster care homes in compliance with Department of Public Welfare regulations. We reverse.

At issue is the authority of a court acting pursuant to Section 6351 of the Juvenile Act, Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 586, No. 142, § 2, effective June 27, 1978, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301 et seq., § 6351, to order a children's institution and county institution district to supervise and fund a court-ordered transfer of legal custody of a child adjudicated dependent, to an individual without the prior certification of the individual's home as an approved foster care home. Superior Court held that the orders entered, by which the children were placed into the custody of various individuals, before a foster home review and approval of the home had

[ 506 Pa. Page 125]

    been conducted, and whereby the Children and Youth Services of Allegheny County (hereinafter "CYS") and the Allegheny County Institution District were ordered to fund the placements, were outside the authority of the court.

The provision of the Juvenile Act under which the juvenile court entered the orders in question, Section 6351, provides:

(a) General rule. -- If the child is found to be a dependent child the court may make any of the following orders of disposition best suited to the protection and physical, mental, and moral welfare of the child:

(1) Permit the child to remain with his parents, guardian, or other custodian, subject to conditions and limitations as the court prescribes, including supervision as directed by the court for the protection of the child.

(2) Subject to conditions and limitations as the court prescribes transfer temporary legal custody to any of the following:

(i) Any individual resident within or without this Commonwealth who, after study by the probation officer or other person or agency designated by the court, is found by the court to be qualified to receive and care for the child.

(ii) An agency or other private organization licensed or otherwise authorized by law to receive and ...


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