Focuses on Active Military Families in the Court System
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) announced today that it has launched a website for their project, the National Resource Center on Military-connected Families and the Courts for active duty military members and their families with cases in the juvenile and family court system.
Many overseas conflicts in the last decade have placed substantial stressors on members of our armed forces and their families. Multiple, extended deployments are common and create challenges to family stability and reintegration for those in the military.
“Military families face unique challenges including long separations from one another as a result of deployments or relocations, chronic pain, traumatic brain injury and mental health including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Judge John J. Romero, Jr., NCJFCJ president who formerly served in active duty as a naval officer.
The NCJFCJ received funding for a grant from the State Justice Institute (SJI) to address issues for military-connected families and the courts with support and involvement from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office on Military Community and Family Policy. The National Resource Center on Military-connected Families and the Courts is designed to be a resource for judicial officers and others working in courts with military-connected families in cases involving family violence, protection orders, divorce, child custody, child support, child abuse and neglect, and juvenile delinquency.
“As judicial officers, we hear cases involving domestic violence, abuse and neglect, custody, and child support, juvenile and family courts may be faced with navigating both civilian and military systems, as well as having to consider factors appropriately such as the neurobiological consequences of combat,” said Romero.
The goals of the project are: to increase the effectiveness of juvenile and family courts in cases involving military service members and their families; increase collaboration between civilian and military personnel to resolve case processing issues and to enhance delivery of services to military service members and their families; and promote the exercise of judicial leadership in convening local stakeholders and community groups to form collaborations in order to resolve case processing issues and to deliver appropriate services to military personnel and their families.
“State Justice Institute (SJI) commends the NCJFCJ and its partners on this effort to address the unique issues facing the state courts in serving military families,” said Jonathan Mattiello, SJI executive director. “SJI remains committed to ensuring that military families are given the resources they need to navigate our state court systems.”
Additionally, the National Resource Center on Military-connected Families and the Courts provides resources on legislation, veteran treatment courts, and upcoming events including webinars and the next Military Summit that will be held September 23-24, 2019 in Fort Knox, Ky. For technical assistance regarding military-connected families and the courts, visit the National Resource Center at https://www.ncjfcj.org/Military-Connected-Families.
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.