Judges and Communities of Healing: The Federal Role in Improving Juvenile and Family Courts

February 22, 2016

On Feb. 23, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) will be hosting a panel of experts to discuss federally supported programs that offer cutting edge judicial education and work to improve practices in the juvenile and family court systems.

Framing our discussion around the role of the juvenile and family court judge and the importance of a well-educated judiciary, we will discuss effective programs and needed resources for juvenile and family courts. Without practices informed by science, systems appropriately resourced, and a federal partner to assist juvenile and family courts our children will not succeed and costs to state and federal governments will continue to rise.

Judges and Communities of Healing: The Federal Role in Improving Juvenile and Family Courts will take place at the Senators Visitors Center from 2-3 p.m. in D.C with remarks from Congresswoman Karen Bass of California.

Honorary Congressional Co-Chairs:

  • Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
  • Senator Dean Heller of Nevada
  • Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont
  • Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
  • Congressman Mark Amodei of Nevada
  • Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada

(left to right): Judge Darlene Byrne, Dr. Shawn Marsh, Judge Karen Adam, Judge Deborah Schumacher, and Judge Richard Blake


The panel will offer real stories from the bench and discuss the resources necessary to ensure courts and other stakeholders are keeping children, families, and communities safe. The panel will connect how current and pending legislation impacts the work of juvenile and family courts and the lives of children, families, and victims of domestic violence. The following topics will be presented by the panel:

  • Trauma-informed responses to youth who come before the court
  • Girls and tribal youth in the system, and dual status youth
  • Mental health and juvenile drug courts
  • Racial and ethnic fairness and reducing disparate treatment of youth in the system
  • Keeping kids in school and out of court and protecting victims of domestic child sex trafficking

The NCJFCJ would like to acknowledge and thank the following organizations for partnering with us on the briefing!

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Grabowska at sgrabowska@ncjfcj.org or 775-225-6168.