Understand the complexities of Family Court.

Children's lives hang in the balance in nearly every Family Court case, and hundreds of young people are in the City's courthouses everyday – waiting to speak to judges in custody or visitation cases, meeting with investigators in cases of child abuse or neglect, or sitting beside their parent for hours as the parent waits for his or her case to be called.

For these children, LIFT created "Pat the Pigeon Goes to Family Court" and "Pat the Pigeon Has Two Nests: A Bird's Eye View of Custody and Visitation"– activity and coloring books that explains Family Court issues to children.

LIFT has also created an illustrated book for teens: "When I Was Before the Judge: One Teen's Story About Family Court" – which explains the juvenile justice system to young people who either are, or may be caught up in, the system.

The "Pat" books and "When I Was Before the Judge" can be picked up at all of our Family Court-based Programs. The "Pat" books are distributed with a box of crayons to all children. These books give children and young adults – for the first time – easy-to-understand information about the Court.

Please download your own copies of the "Pat" books in English or Spanish:
Pat the Pigeon Goes to Family Court
La Paloma Pat Va a la Corte de Familia

Pat the Pigeon Has Two Nests: A Bird's Eye View of Custody and Visitation
La Paloma Pat Tiene Dos Nidos: Un Resumen de Custodia y Visitas

Please also download your own copy of "When I Was Before the Judge":
When I Was Before the Judge: One Teen's Story About Family Court

Links to Other Websites for Children & Teens

Help Keeps Kids Safe
- A colorful child safety site.

Juvenile Law Center
- Publications written for adults regarding child abuse law.

My Courts NY
- provides information for NY youth about New York State courts, law and justice.

New Jersey State Court System
- An educational site for kids about New Jersey Courts.

New York Attorney General's Kid Page
- Activities and games involving a wide-range of issues and topics in New York State.

Office of Public Affairs
- Educational tools and games for kids of all ages.

St. John's Child Advocacy Clinic
- A colorful guide explaining the child welfare system to children.

Unified State Court System
- Information about Children Centers in the Courts and their locations.

Unified State Court System
- Kid's Corner with a Civil Court coloring book and court-related games.

U.S. Government Printing Office
- A guide to government for children of all ages.

Youth in Progress
- Seeks to enhance and advance the lives of today’s and tomorrow’s youth by supporting their sense of self and responsibility. Includes many helpful resources about the foster care system.

Youth Success NYC
- A website for teens in foster care and their families. Find resources and hear from other teens about how to get what you need in care and out of care, from housing and education support to health services, family court information, and more.

Youth Represent
- Resources and services for young people affected by the criminal or juvenile justice system.

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complex Family Court system

Each year, Family Court judges make decisions that can change the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. All too often these children do not understand the reasons why their families are in court, or the magnitude of the decisions being made about them.


Download our illustrated book just for teens:
When I Was Before
the Judge: One Teen's Story About Family Court.