Our Policy Through a resolution adopted by NCJFCJ’s Board of Trustees in July 2011, the NCJFCJ supports “…collaborat[ion] with allied organizations and experts, both inside and outside of the military, to develop curricula and technical assistance materials to increase the effectiveness of juvenile and family courts in cases involving military service members, returning veterans and their families impacted by military service; and…encourage[s] collaboration between civilian and military personnel to resolve case processing issues and to enhance delivery of services to military service members and their families impacted by military service.” Our Work • The NCJFCJ received initial funding from the Vivian Phillips Charitable Trust to survey juvenile and family court professionals about the need for training and technical assistance on various military issues. • Subsequently, the NCJFCJ convened a focus group with military and judicial stakeholders to develop recommendations to guide next steps which would move forward reform efforts in this area. • The NCJFCJ received additional private funding to conduct a national Military Summit on the issues surrounding military families in contact with juvenile and family courts. The summit was held in March 2015. Summit participants created a national action plan to improve the courts’ handling of cases involving military families in dependency, domestic violence, family law, and juvenile justice cases – to include suggestions for a pilot project to develop and test innovative practices. • Since the Military Summit in 2015, the NCJFCJ has been in discussion with the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Family Readiness Policy, Military Community and Family Policy Office of the Secretary of Defense to coordinate and present an additional Military Summit. • Additionally, NCJFCJ has been reaching out to potential funders and our national partners to identify, prioritize, and operationalize the recommendations from the March 2015 Military Summit. Our Results The NCJFCJ released a report documenting the Summit and the next steps the organization will take. NCJFCJ has provided technical assistance to connect judges to key resources and military personnel in order to better serve members of the military at the local and state levels. Our Vision for the Future 1. Judges have specialized training on the unique issues of military families as they relate to custody, visitation, and family violence, including the impact of PTSD. 2. State courts have better knowledge of military pay and retirement to make the best decisions on issues of child support, alimony, and property division. 3. Military judges, courts, and related agencies receive the benefit of advances in practice already in place in the areas of juvenile delinquency, dependency, family violence, and family law that have been developed and implemented in state courts.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges www.NCJFCJ.org / Ph. (775) 507-4777
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