Children & Families

Child Protection

Improving Child Protection Outcomes: A Framework for Judicial Leaders." The National Impact on Outcomes Committee asks judicial leaders to help improve child welfare outcomes by developing outcome-driven courts using a plan for change management -- one that relies on critical reflection on data and current practices to achieve measureable improvements on child and family outcomes. You can find the Framework and tools here.

IV-E Waivers. Allowing for more flexible use of federal funds in order to test new approaches to service delivery and financing structures in child welfare, IV-E Waivers can increase service availability and support court functions. This document sets forth how courts can give voice to systemic needs and support a waiver application.

Dependency Court Performance Measures. Few acts are more tragic than abuse and neglect of children. The new Toolkit for Court Performance Measures in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases produced for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Children’s Bureau by the National Center for State Courts, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the ABA Center on Children and the Law has been designed and tested to provide practice and comprehensive guidance to improving the safety, permanency and well-being outcomes for abused and neglected children.

Dependency Data Exchange. Courts and child welfare agencies share responsibility for positive outcomes for abused and neglected children. Sharing information between courts and child welfare agencies has proven to improve outcomes for children and made it easier to document the progress made by creating the performance measures mentioned in the Toolkit.

  • The NCSC Child Welfare Net Project provides a current picture of data exchange efforts in the states.

  • The rationale for data exchange and its early successes may be found here.

Children and Disasters. The Children’s Bureau of the United States Department of Health and Human Services supported a collaborative effort among the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to examine how lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could be applied to dependency courts and to recommend a strategic approach to ensure that the essential functions of dependency courts are sustained during an emergency or disaster. The result is Emergency Preparedness in Dependency Courts: Ten Questions That Courts Serving Abused and Neglected Children Must Address.

Summits on the protection of children. The National Center for State Courts sponsored the Third National Judicial Leadership Summit on the Protection of Children on October 15-17, 2009 in Austin, Texas.

Domestic Violence

The VAWA Courts Assistance project provides tools to encourage innovative use of Violence Against Women STOP Project funds by courts.

Project Passport aims to improve recognition and enforcement of orders of protection within and between states/tribes by encouraging states to adopt a standard cover sheet for orders of protection.

Find out more about both programs here.

The American Judges Association announces “Effective Adjudication of Domestic Abuse Cases,” the newly developed and free online domestic violence education program for judges. Explore the dynamics of assessing lethality and dangerousness, custody and protective orders, special evidentiary issues, and effective sentencing -- all online, at your own pace. 

Past projects > 2014 |  2013 | 2012  | 2011 | 20102009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

2014

Analyzing Court Improvement Data Timeliness Measures for the Indiana Division of State Court Administration, 2014

Weighted Workload Study for Juvenile Officers for the Missouri Office of the State Court Administrator, 2014

2013

Evaluation of Court Improvement Program and Guardian Ad Litem System for the Maine Administrative Office of the Courts (SJI Grant), 2013

Court Efficiency and Staffing Evaluation and Training for the Douglas County, Nebraska, Separate Juvenile Court (SJI Grant), 2013

Consulting Services for Nevada Court Improvement Program, 2013

Study of Felony Sexual Assault Cases Involving Child Victims and Adult Defendants (subcontractor to University of New Hampshire), 2013

Compliance Review of Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Cases for Utah Juvenile Court, 2013

2012

Revision of the National Probate Court Standards (grants from SJI, Borchard Foundation and ACTEC Foundation), 2011-2012

2011

Follow Up to Third Leadership Summit to Promote Best Practices to the Child Protection Process (Casey Family Programs Grant), 2011

Operational Assessment of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court (SJI Grant), 2011

Analysis of Child Support Enforcement Activities Eligible for Federal IV-D Reimbursement for the Administrative Office of the Massachusetts Trial Court, 2011

In-Depth Review of Child Welfare Case Management Reports for the Massachusetts Court Improvement Program, 2011

Development of a Juvenile Dependency Bench Book for the Pennsylvania Administrative Office of the Courts, Office of Children, Families, and the Courts, 2011

2010

Develop a Process for Title IV Reimbursement for the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts (SJI Grant), 2010

Staffing Study for the Juvenile Court for the North Dakota Office of the State Court Administrator, 2010

Implementation of Child Welfare Metrics and Development of Performance Measures for Child Protection Cases for the Rhode Island Supreme Court in Collaboration with the Rhode Island Department for Children, Youth and Families, 2010

Facilitation of a Collaborative Workshop Regarding the Management of Juvenile Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse Cases for the Rhode Island Administrative Office of the Courts, 2010

2009

Continuing Upward from the Summit, Summit III Renewing the Commitment—Advancing the Plans, 2009

Study of Caseflow and Case Management in Child Maltreatment Cases for the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona (SJI Grant), 2009

Training and Technical Assistance to Implement and Evaluate a Paperless Process for the Litigation of Child Dependency Cases in the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, 2009

2008

Assistance with Developing a Framework for Providing Information Exchanges Between the Courts and Child Welfare Agencies for the Nevada Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts, 2008

Evaluation of Court-Appointed Counsel Performance for the Administrative Office of the California Courts, Center for Families, Children and the Courts, 2008

Data Collection and Analysis Needs Assessment (Child Welfare) for the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 2008

Developing Statewide Treatment Standards for Juvenile Drug Courts in North Dakota (Technical Assistance) 2008

Justice Information Exchange Model (JIEM) Analysis for the Juvenile Docket For the State of Vermont Judiciary, 2008

2007

Review of Increasing the Juvenile Jurisdictional Age in Connecticut Delinquency Matters for the Connecticut Judicial Branch, 2007

Assessment of Juvenile Court System for Shelby County, Tennessee, 2007

Facilitation of Strategic Planning of the Missouri Unified Family Court for the Eleventh and Twenty-fifth Circuits for the Office of Court Administration, 2007

Workload Forecast for the Children and Family Court for the King County, Washington Superior Court, 2007

2006

Nebraska Judicial Workload Assessment of District, County, and Juvenile Courts, 2006

Northeast Central Judicial District, North Dakota, Family Court Evaluation, 2006

Reassessment of Wyoming’s Juvenile Court System: Child Abuse and Neglect Case Processing, 2006

Management and Calendaring Study for the Maricopa County, Arizona, Juvenile Division of the Superior Court, 2006

2005

New Jersey State Court Improvement Program Reassessment, 2005

North Dakota Juvenile Court Staffing Standards Study, 2005

Ohio State Court Improvement Program Reassessment, 2005

2004

California Administrative Office of the Courts, Court-Based Family Dispute Resolution Database, 2004

First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Family Court Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Financial Analysis, Review of Grant Reimbursement Practices, and Organizational Analysis, 2004

Miami-Dade County, Florida, Juvenile Court Facilities Project (subcontractor to Carter Goble Associates) 2004

Monitoring Family Court Outcomes in the District of Columbia Court: Implementing Tools to Measure and Improve Court Performance in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases, 2004

Missouri Office of the State Courts Administrator, 31st Judicial Circuit Family Court Review, 2004

South Dakota Unified Judicial System, Review of ICWA Compliance, 2004