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School Readiness for Babies in Foster Care: at the community level November 4, 2011
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Court Teams for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers Help maltreated infants and toddlers reach safe, loving, permanent homes quickly. Photo: Debbie Rappaport
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Leadership provided by: Juvenile/Family Court Judge ZERO TO THREE Community Coordinator Child Protective Services Members include: Court Appointed Special Advocates Health care providers Mental health clinicians Substance abuse treatment County attorneys Private attorneys Early interventionists Foster parents Faith community Community foundations Early childhood community Parenting education programs Private foster care agencies Court Team Community Partners
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Court Teams active in 10 jurisdictions across US Des Moines, Iowa* Hattiesburg, Mississippi* New Orleans, Louisiana* San Francisco, California Honolulu, Hawaii* Omaha, Nebraska* Douglasville, Georgia New Haven, Connecticut Little Rock, Arkansas Cherokee, North Carolina *NCJFCJ Model Court
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Judicial leadership + Community partners = Enhanced and better coordinated services Court Teams Strategy
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Orleans Parish Court Team Roster Honorable Ernestine S. Gray, Chief Judge Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Dawn R. Bentley, Community Coordinator ZERO TO THREE Saidah Munir, Court Team/DCFS Liaison Department of Children and Family Services Nzinga Hill, Supervisin g Attorney Orleans Public Defenders Romona Jordan, Children’s Attorney Mental Health Advocacy Services Cherrilynne Thomas, Assistant District Attorney Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office Elijah Feibelman, President S.A.R.A.’s House Board of Directors (Visitation Center) John Longoria, Program Manager Family Resource Center Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans Dr. Amy Dickson, Director Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Infant Team Joyce Ridgeway, Regional Director Early Steps Louisiana Early Intervention System Dr. Suzanne LeFevre, Pediatrician, Director Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Tiger Care Clinic Jonathan Sumter, Advocate Supervisor CASA New Orleans Deanne Bowman, Supervisor Crescent House Domestic Violence Program Archdiocese of Greater New Orleans
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Core Components Leadership from the child welfare and judicial agencies Child development expertise Cross-disciplinary collaboration Understanding infant and toddler development Importance of stable caregiving relationships Making the first placement the last placement Focus on concurrent planning Frequent parent-child contact Building on parental strengths, supporting areas of need
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Babies can bounce back but they need our help Babies can bounce back from abuse. The longer they are abused and the more extensively they are abused, the more impaired they are. The earlier they are abused, the more permanent brain changes. The more stimulation and appropriate care, the more we can remediate those changes/deficits. Dr. Amy Dickson, Psy.D Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Developmental Screening Early Steps: Part C provider in New Orleans Represented on the Court Team All children receive screening
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE New Orleans Court Team & The Infant Team Families qualify if they meet the following criteria: The child is 5 years of age or younger. The child has experienced some form of trauma. Types of trauma may include: –Being a victim of abuse or neglect –Witnessing domestic or community violence –Losing an important caregiver –Experiencing a frightening medical procedure –Witnessing or experiencing a frightening event such as an accident or natural disaster.
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE New Orleans Court Team & The Infant Team Because of our collaboration: Infant Team accepts all of our children. Infant Team will assess children with their relative caregiver or foster parent (if their parents are MIA). Infant Team will go to prisons to work with parents if the facility allows them to. Infant Team assists in making transition plans for children when they have to move (to their parents or another placement) Infant Team does not charge fees to families referred through DCFS.
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Court Teams Project Outcomes Increase in services to children and their parents Reductions in the number of out-of-home placements. Fewer moves for those in out-of-home care. Increase in parent-child visits. Increase in relative/kinship placements. Fewer contested terminations of parental rights. Almost no further maltreatment.
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Court Teams Project Outcomes Fostering a Permanent Home : A Mixed Methods Evaluation of the ZERO TO THREE Court Teams for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers Initiative Effect on Time to Permanency (2011): When compared with a nationally representative comparison group (n=511) drawn from the National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being, the children served by Court Teams (n=298) reached permanency two to three times faster. This differential was true when the two samples were compared by types of exit (e.g. reunification, adoption, kinship custodianship). Children served by the Court Teams exited the foster care system approximately one year earlier than children in the comparison group. Doctoral research conducted by Dr. Kim McCombs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE It’s all about relationships Respectful relationships are the key to helping families What guides our work? Respect for individuals, culture and context High professional standards Continual learning and growth Mutual and reciprocal relationships among adults Open communication
Copyright © 2010 by ZERO TO THREE Orleans Parish Safe Babies Court Team The Honorable Ernestine Gray Orleans Parish Juvenile Court 421 Loyola Avenue New Orleans, LA 70112 (504) 658-9508 EGray@opjc.com
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