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Presentation on theme: "20 INNOVATIVE IDEAS BEST PRACTICES, INITIATIVES, AND MODEL COURTS."— Presentation transcript:



3  “ a court that deals with cases involving parental rights…which come before the court through either the criminal or civil process, which arise out of the substance abuse of a parent.” - Juvenile and Family Drug Courts: An Overview (Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project at the American University, 1998) FAMILY DEPENDENCY TREATMENT COURTS

4  San Diego, CA  Access to Treatment  Participants of FDTC get priority slots with a network of drug and alcohol treatment providers  County contracts with third party providers for priority placements FAMILY DEPENDENCY TREATMENT COURTS

5  Family drug treatment court that focuses on families with children age three and younger  Treatment program completed in phases  Completion of phases  coincides with increased visitation  Parents prove sobriety through frequent testing  Leads to more frequent visits / unsupervised visits  Parenting skills assessed by judge at each hearing  Specific questions about the parent-child relationship OMAHA, NEBRASKA ZERO TO THREE DRUG TREATMENT COURT

6  Based out of Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court  2 nd and 3 rd generation families involved in child protection  Partnered with Dr. & Prof. of Pediatrics and Psychiatry  Focus on healing parent and child relationships COURT TEAMS FOR MALTREATED INFANTS AND TODDLERS

7  Phase 1: Develop partnership between the judge and a local community coordinator to establish a court-community team  Build awareness of needs of children under 3 in foster care  Complete a community needs assessment that identifies available services and gaps in services COURT TEAMS, CONT’D

8  Phase 2: Provide additional services for infants and toddlers  Court ordered:  Referrals for health and dental care  Quality child care  Behavioral & development assessments  Frequent visits with parents  Evidence based services  Review hearings every 30 days  Utilizes visitation to promote permanent placement with parents COURT TEAMS, CONT’D

9  H.O.P.E. = Helping Organize Parents Effectively  Families with multiple cases before the court  Cases grouped together and heard together  Create a whole family plan  Whole team discusses modifications to the family plan  At each hearing assess where the family is at in all areas BUTTE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA H.O.P.E COURTS


11  Oregon: Fostering Hope Initiative  The issue: A family in stress is a family more likely to end up in child welfare  The initiative:  1) Build up the internal resources of the parents; and  2) Reinforce the external resources in the community to support families in need. PLACE BASED FAMILY STRENGTHENING

12  Weekly community dinners at neighborhood churches & community centers  Classes  Socialization  Supporting connections between neighbors  In-home services  Mentoring  Parenting skills  Health & wellness PLACE BASED FAMILY STRENGTHENING

13  Therapeutic supervised visitation program  Operates out of 3 converted houses  Full apartments  visiting rooms  kitchens  Program phases for increased visitation  Overnight visits in the final phase NEW JERSEY FAMILY REUNITY HOUSES

14  Pair parent with a seasoned foster care provider  Program is voluntary – not part of mandatory case plan  Mentor parents in parenting skills but also in building a healthy support network  Outcomes:  Families more frequently reunify  Children’s length of stay in foster care is reduced  Fewer children return to care after reunification WASHINGTON STATE PARENT TO PARENT MENTORING

15  Participants matched with a parent mentor with previous child welfare involvement  Added a class component called “Here’s the Deal”  Goals:  Parents become more informed consumers of the child welfare system and the services available;  Parents move more quickly through their anger;  Develop a good working relationship with their social worker;  More quickly engage in services. WASHINGTON STATE PARENT PARTNERS PROGRAM

16  Collaboration between the Police Department and the Yale Child Study Center  Minimize the trauma to children at the time of the arrest of a parent:  Trains police in child development  Provides clinicians to work with children at the scene of an arrest  Provides treatment and follow up counseling for children  Provides ongoing consultation for police and child welfare staff NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT CHILD DEVELOPMENT-COMMUNITY POLICING


18 “a supported, happy foster parent is a walking billboard for other potential foster parents”  Support groups  Training opportunities  Monthly newsletter  Including foster parents input in legislative efforts and policy efforts WASHINGTON STATE’S CHILDREN’S ADMINISTRATION FOSTER PARENT SUPPORT & RECRUITMENT

19  Customer Service Training for Child Welfare Staff  Data Driven Recruitment  Retention  Quarterly reports  Data on children in care vs. resource families  Rapid Improvement Events  Marketing– Communications– PSAs– Support Center  Online Training Curriculum  Tribal Recruitment Subcommittee OKLAHOMA BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE PROJECT

20  Meeting between birth parents and foster parents within 2 days of an out-of-home placement  Discussions are child-focused  Opportunity to share information  Establish relationship of mutual respect  Similar program in Virginia – meeting within 7 days of an out-of-home placement NEW MEXICO ICEBREAKER MEETINGS


22  Idea: Coordinate a large team of professionals and volunteers in a highly effective way  Prior to Extreme Recruitment:  Social workers checked in once a month  Other stakeholders were rarely in the same room  Under Extreme Recruitment:  Stakeholders are in constant contact  Weekly 30 minute meetings per child/case  Checklists and action items SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI EXTREME RECRUITMENT

23  Agency hired full time private investigators  Sole job is to track down members of child’s biological family  Goal for each child is to identify family members  Find two key individuals in every family:  The informant  The family gem EXTREME RECRUITMENT

24 Ideas 14 & 15 CROSSOVER YOUTH

25  “Youth who have experienced maltreatment and engaged in delinquency” -Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, -Crossover Youth Practice Model CROSSOVER YOUTH

26  More likely to exit care from a group home rather than with relatives or a foster family  More than twice as likely to be heavy users of public systems  Three times as likely to experience a jail stay  50 percent less likely to be consistently employed  Will earn less than half in first four years after exit  The average per-person cost of crossover youth who access public services was more than double D. Culhane, Young Adult Outcomes of Youth Exiting Dependent or Delinquent Care in LA County (LA, CA: Univ. of PA, 2011) CROSSOVER YOUTH – AS COMPARED TO YOUTH IN ONLY DELINQUENCY OR CP

27  School based intervention program: school districts ↔ child welfare ↔ probation  Determine gaps in services  Support timely transfers of records when placements and/or schools change  Provide direct service and referrals  Advocacy and collaboration CALIFORNIA FOSTER YOUTH SERVICES

28  Overall objectives and outcomes:  Improved academic achievement  Reduced truancy  Reduced expulsion rates CALIFORNIA FOSTER CARE YOUTH SERVICES

29  Collaboration project between child dependency and delinquency courts  Cross-over training between child welfare & probation staff  Whole family assessments – regardless of which avenue the family enters into court  One judge  one family  Hold review hearings for delinquency and child welfare matters at the same time  Engage in joint case planning across cases PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA


31  Youth ages did a year long study of NYC’s permanency planning process  Goals:  Youth to have a sense of responsibility and influence in their own case  More youth attend their hearings  The best decisions made for youth and their family  Turn going to court into a positive experience for youth  Improve chances of success for youth who age out of foster care NEW YORK CITY YOUTH JUSTICE BOARD

32  Created a report with 14 recommendations to improve court experiences and outcomes for kids in foster care in 3 major areas:  To prepare youth to take a more active role in their cases  To create stronger partnerships between, guardians, case workers, and youth  To create a court environment that facilitates meaningful youth involvement YOUTH JUSTICE BOARD

33  Quarterly print and online publication  Contributors all current or former foster care youth  Editors on staff who work one-on-one with youth in care NEW YORK REPRESENT




37  Provides a space for children to be engaged in activities  Court hearings/meetings with social workers or attorneys may be more efficient without kids  Utilize staff and/or volunteers to supervise the room CHILDREN’S WAITING ROOMS

38  Free Arts for Abused Children  Partnered to operate at 2 sites in LA County  Courthouse provides space  Free Arts provides volunteers and art supplies during blocked dependency calendar time LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA


40  King County, Washington:  Ellie, assigned to the Special Assault Unit in 2005  Nation’s first service dog matched full time with a county attorney’s office  Can be utilized at the interview and investigation stage of child abuse cases  Can be used to reduce stress during for children while waiting for a court hearing or while testifying COURTHOUSE DOGS



43 WEBSITES AND RESOURCES: Oklahoma Bridge to the Future Courthouse Dogs Place-Based Family Strengthening Washington Parent Partners/Mentoring Program engagementmentoring-models-washington-state Fostering Hope Initiative Extreme Recruitment Represent Youth Justice Board – New York 2007 Report nal_2007.pdf Free Arts for Abused Children Zero to Three Initiatives Crossover Youth lsystem.cfm National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Reunity Houses – New Jersey Rise


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