October 7, 2020
On September 29, 2020, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) announced the unanimous approval of Resolution 5 In Support of Increased Funding for Court Improvement Programs. Created by Congress in 1993, the Court Improvement Program (CIP) assists state courts in improving their handling of child abuse and neglect cases. CCJ and COSCA recognize in the resolution the importance of keeping families together and the importance of effectively and efficiently handling child abuse and child neglect.
CIP was also developed as a way to recognize the fiscal impact of federal mandates on the state courts. To comply with Congressional timeliness mandates, the CIP requires program funds to be used to implement and evaluate system improvements, provide training to judges and attorneys in child welfare cases, and improve data systems.
Congress is currently considering legislation that would provide emergency funding to mitigate the impact of the COVID pandemic on state courts by increasing the authorized budget appropriation for CIP. Thus, the resolution
strongly urge[s] Congress to provide additional funding to the Court Improvement Program (CIP) to mitigate the detrimental impact of the pandemic on state courts’ handling of child abuse and neglect cases and further to permanently increase funding to the three CIP grant programs so that state courts are able to sustain, enhance, and expand child welfare reforms and effectively implement the provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act
The American Bar Association has also announced its support for CIP.
For more information on CIP visit the National Center for State Court’s CIP Talks and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Child Welfare Information Gateway. For more reading on the COVID pandemic visit NCSC’s Pandemic Resource Guide.
How is your court addressing funding, child welfare programs, or coronavirus related budget shortfalls? Follow the National Center for State Courts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, and share your experiences.
For more information on this or other topics impacting state courts, contact Knowledge@ncsc.org or call 800-616-6164.