Parent Action Court (PAC)
Assistance and Enforcement
Operating under the auspice of the Texas Family Code, section 61.057 “Punishment for Contempt”, the Juvenile Board of Grayson County has directed the Department of Juvenile Services to increase the accountability of parent(s)/guardian(s) of juveniles on court ordered probation by driving for higher standards of accountability concerning the juvenile court’s Orders Affecting Parents, Guardians and Others. The Orders Affecting Parents, Guardians, and Others require the juvenile’s guardian(s) to actively participate in the components of supervision of their juvenile by this department. The implications of this policy change are expected to be far reaching in regards to assisting in the successful completion of juvenile supervision with the department.
As notifications of policy changes have been distributed to the parents/guardians of juveniles under court ordered supervision by this department, notable changes have occurred. Within two weeks, the department has seen an increase in parental concern regarding their child’s supervision as well as greater participation in therapeutic components of their child’s probation. In addition, there has been a notable increase in payments of fees and restitution to the department. Finally, the department has seen an overall increase in communication with the department and expressed concern of compliance with orders.
Unfortunately, there are a small percentage of parents/guardians that have become non-compliant with their Orders Affecting Parents, Guardians, and Others to the detriment of their child. As such, the Texas Family Code (61.057(e)) affords the department the capacity to assign a Juvenile Probation Officer to parents that are out of compliance to assist them in complying with court orders. An initial PAC (Parent Action Court) hearing will take place to determine resolutions to the violations of the Orders Affecting Parents, Guardians, and Others. The parent/guardian will then have thirty days to comply with court orders before further enforcement is pursued.
The current change in policy not only means enforcement for parents with children on court ordered probation with the department, but also recognition and encouragement when successfully complying with court orders and actively participating in their child’s supervision. The role of the parent-assigned juvenile probation officer will be to form meaningful partnerships with parents to provide better and more effective services to their child. It is the desire of this department to not merely properly supervise juveniles on court-ordered probation, but to contribute to their success at home, school, and in life by creating avenues and opportunities to develop lasting change.