Guide to the Initiative
About the FJI Project
Events and News
FJI Landscape Report, Principles & Pathways
Contact us if you have questions, and we can get your started with basic information, in contact with experts or more extensive on-site technical assistance. Please email Alicia Davis.
Adapting to today's families
The evolving nature of family dynamics requires courts to respond with innovative models to help resolve family matters and improve access and quality of justice. Courts across the country deal with emotional and often legally and factually challenging cases that can lead to high turnover of court professional staff and judges.
The Family Justice Initiative (FJI) sets forth a model that draws upon data-informed strategies to assist the resolution of family matters. Through screening and assement tools, and triage case management, judges and court staff can better identify cases that require substantial court-based or community services, and cases requiring minimal court resources and little or no exercise of judicial discretion.
Accurate identification of what cases need helps the court refer parties to targeted services and make the best use of judicial time and resources on cases that need it the most. The FJI also identifies automated processes, assisted forms and alternative legal representation models that equip families with the understanding to navigate the legal process. By providing families the services they need so they sped less money on litigation and less time in court, parties will feel more satisfied with the justice system when it serves them more efficiently.
In Fall 2017, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) with support from the State Justice Institute (SJI) launched the Family Justice Initiative (FJI) Project to evaluate and improve the way state courts handle domestic relations cases. The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges supported this work alongside NCSC. The FJI Project is modeled on that of the CCJ Civil Justice Improvements Project which resulted in the recommendations for civil justice reform contained in A Call to Action: Achieving Civil Justice for All.