Publications

Reasonable Efforts: A Judicial Perspective
September 23, 2014
Reasonable Efforts: A Judicial Perspective, written by NCJFCJ Past President Judge Leonard Edwards (Ret.), is a new publication made possible by the generous support of Casey Family Programs and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. From the Foreword by the NCJFCJ Past President Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court:   “… Two goals of this book are to encourage judges and...More
Reasonable Efforts in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases that Involve Domestic Violence
June 18, 2014
Researchers and professionals in the field have known for years that domestic violence and child maltreatment often co-occur in families. The extent to which this happens is hard to estimate, with early studies indicating overlaps ranging from 30% to 60%. When domestic violence is identified in a juvenile dependency case, it is important that judges respond in a way that holds the perpetrator of...More
A Guide to Conducting Effective Training Evaluations: Recommendations, Strategies, and Tools for Dependency Court Improvement Programs
May 29, 2014
The development of this Guide has been funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau through the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues (NRCLJI).  The Guide was developed for dependency court systems to use as they design and evaluate their training programs and provide strategies and evaluation tools to training coordinators about how...More
Forever Families: Improving Outcomes by Achieving Permanency for Legal Orphans
April 4, 2013
Author: McCully, S., Whitney Barnes, E. In the dependency court system, a legal orphan is a child whose parents’ rights have been terminated and who has no legal permanent connection to a family.  The child remains in foster care and has not been adopted or placed in a legal relationship with a guardian or with kin. A legal orphan may have no legal relationship with her parents’ extended families...More
Seen, Heard, and Engaged: Children in Dependency Court Hearings
August 30, 2012
This technical assistance bulletin was designed to provide information, guidance, and aspirational practice recommendations to dependency courts and dependency court judges with regard to bringing children to court for hearings related to their own dependency cases. It is the policy of the NCJFCJ that children of all ages be brought to court, unless the judge decides it is not safe or appropriate...More
Key Principles for Permanency Planning for Children
July 23, 2011
Judging in juvenile court is specialized and complex, going beyond the traditional role of the judge. Juvenile court judges, as the gatekeepers to the foster care system and guardians of the original problem solving court, must engage families, professionals, organizations and communities to effectively support child safety, permanency, and well-being. Judges must encourage the court system to...More
Right from the Start: The Courts Catalyzing Change Preliminary Protective Hearing Benchcard
March 1, 2010
The Technical Assistance Bulletin explains the history and background of the the Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care Initiative (CCC), which brings together judicial officers and other systems’ experts to set a national agenda for court-based training, research, and reform initiatives to reduce the disproportionate representation of children of color in...More
The Resource Guidelines: Supporting Best Practices and Building Foundations for Innovation in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
December 1, 2009
This publication, developed from interviews with Resource Guidelines founders, and a review of relevant background material, provides an overview of the genesis of the Guidelines and, over the years, how it has been used to support and guide court and systems reform across the nation. (Winter 2009) Available by download only. More
Asking the Right Questions II: Judicial Checklists to Meet the Educational Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care
December 2, 2008
This revised publication, of the original Technical Assistance Brief published in 2005, includes a checklist of critical questions every judge should ask about education in every case, and a checklist of critical questions every judge should ask about education and older youth. Each of the three checklists provides juvenile and family court judges with valuable guidance to ensure the necessary...More
Ensuring the Unique Needs of Dependency Courts are Met in Disaster Planning Efforts: Dependency Court Planning Templates for Continuity of Operations Plans
December 1, 2008
This Technical Assistance Bulletin builds on the available relevant literature and draws on previous work in disaster preparedness conducted by the National Center for State Courts, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, and the NCJFCJ, as well as information received from State Court Administrators and CIPs, to offer Dependency Court Disaster Planning Templates. More