2015 NCJFCJ Topical One-Pagers

Our Policy

• The Resource Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases is the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ) official policy on effective court intervention in child abuse and neglect cases. The NCJFCJ has established a framework for reform in the courtroom and throughout the child welfare system through implementation of the Resource Guidelines .

• The NCJFCJ supports active engagement of children and their families in the court process.

• The NCJFCJ has adopted policy regarding the importance of opening juvenile courts to the public unless the court finds good cause to the contrary on a case-by-case basis.

• The NCJFCJ, through its policy acknowledging tribal courts as equal and parallel systems of justice, works to improve collaboration between state and tribal court systems and compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Our Work

• With the continued support of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and other public and private partnerships, the NCJFCJ has built a network of over 90 state and tribal Model Courts to improve the courts’ handling of child abuse and neglect cases. These courts, for the most part, are self-sustaining and are ready laboratories for issue identification and system change initiatives.

• The NCJFCJ is moving forward on a three-prong approach to restructure the current Model Court project which will extend the NCJFCJ’s reach and the reach of the Model Courts.

• The NCJFCJ began working in 2014 with eight new implementation sites to deliver targeted and tailored technical assistance focused on the implementation of the Resource Guidelines , Adoption and Permanency Guidelines, Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines , and the Key Principles of Permanency Planning . Particular focus will be placed on assisting these new sites in building their infrastructure for effective systems’ reform efforts, and development of outcome measure and evaluation plans to determine the effectiveness of these efforts. • Through the Model Courts, the NCJFCJ identified the need to build more broadly competent courts to provide swift, fair, and coordinated justice to families presenting a multitude of different issues across case types, resulting in the NCJFCJ’s next generation Model Court initiative, Project ONE (One family, one judge; No wrong door; and Equal and coordinated access to justice). • Courts Catalyzing Change (CCC), the NCJFCJ’s national initiative to reduce disproportionality and disparate treatment in the foster care system, resulted in the development of the first empirically supported practice from the bench, a judicial benchcard to safely reduce the length of time children remain in foster care.

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