Courts to Focus on Improving Practices in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
(Reno, Nev.) – The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has selected eight new courts to join their Implementation Sites Project, which helps to improve outcomes for abused and neglected children and their families.
The NCJFCJ Implementation Sites Project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, provides child abuse and neglect courts with training, technical assistance, and support to guide program improvement, sustainability, and performance. As part of their involvement in this project, Implementation Sites are expected to apply meaningful change, evaluate progress, as well as share challenges and successes with other courts across the country. The Implementation Sites will integrate promising practices, as defined by the NCJFCJ’s Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Improving Court Practices in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases to guide their system reform efforts.
“Learning from the observations from outside perspectives informed by evidence-based best practices is an incredible opportunity,” said the Honorable Julia Gordon, lead judge of Daviess County Family Court in Owensboro, Ky. “The idea of implementing innovative ideas to better the lives of our most vulnerable families and ways to improve the system to meet the needs in our community is exciting. We are thrilled and honored to be chosen to collaborate with the NCJFCJ.”
“The Family Court of the State of Delaware is honored to be selected to participate in the NCJFCJ’s Implementation Sites Project,” said Chief Judge Michael Newell, Family Court of Delaware. “The child protection system in Delaware is progressive and vibrant and we are always looking for ways to improve how we serve our children and families.”
The NCJFCJ will work with the following courts and lead judges by helping to identify strengths and challenges, in addition to strategizing solutions to address those impediments, to improve their current court practices and the delivery of services to families and children. Judicial leadership and effective collaboration are viewed as essential for project success.
· Superior Court of California, County of Humboldt in Humboldt, Calif. with Judge Joyce Hinrichs
· Family Court, State of Delaware in Wilmington, Del. with Chief Judge Michael Newell
· 21st Judicial District, Counties of Iroquois and Kankakee in Kankakee, Ill. with Judge J. Imani Drew
· Daviess County Family Court in Owensboro, Ky. with Judge Julia Gordon
· Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon City, Ore. with Judge Colleen Gilmartin
· Chesterfield County General District Court in Chesterfield, Va. with Judge Scott Landry
· Spokane County Superior Court in Spokane, Wash. with Judge Rachelle Anderson
· The Suquamish Tribal Court in Suquamish, Wash. with Chief Judge Cindy Smith
“Our Tribal Court is looking forward to learning and utilizing culturally appropriate best practices to increase positive outcomes for the families we serve,” said Chief Judge Cindy Smith, Suquamish Tribal Court.
These eight new courts will join the current 16 Implementation Project sites across the county, which includes three other Tribal Courts: Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Tribal Court, Gila River Indian Community in Ariz., and Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
About the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ):
Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nev.-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization and focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.