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The purpose of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court as specified in the Virginia Code §16.1-227 is:
- To divert from or within the juvenile justice system, to the extent possible, consistent with the protection of the public safety, those children who can be cared for or treated through alternative programs;
- To provide judicial procedures through which the provisions of this law are executed and enforced and in which the parties are assured a fair hearing and their constitutional and other rights are recognized and enforced;
- To separate a child from such child's parents, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis only when the child's welfare is endangered or it is in the interest of public safety and then only after consideration of alternatives to out-of-home placement which afford effective protection to the child, his family, and the community; and
- To protect the community against those acts of its citizens, both juveniles and adults, which are harmful to others and to reduce the incidence of delinquent behavior and to hold offenders accountable for their behavior.