Process Evaluation: Courts Catalyzing Change Preliminary Protective Hearing Benchcard

January 8, 2015


The Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care Initiative (CCC) brings together judicial officers and systems stakeholders to set a national agenda for court-based training, research and reform initiatives to reduce the disproportionate treatment of children  of color in the dependency court system.  One of the tools developed from this initiative was a Benchcard for judges to use at the first dependency court hearing (e.g., preliminary protective hearing).  The CCC Benchcard was rolled out in courts across the country as a tool to improve court practice, accompanied by racial equity trainings – such as training on implicit bias or institutional and structural racism – and training specific to understanding and using the CCC Benchcard in practice.

This report describes findings from a multi-site process evaluation that examined dependency court judges and stakeholders perceptions of the CCC Benchcard trainings, buy-in for the CCC Benchcard, and challenges and successes of implementing the tool into practice. The report highlights some areas of concern, including buy-in from judicial officers and stakeholders as well as complete fidelity to the CCC Benchcard. Recommendations for improving future trainings and implementation efforts are offered.

A two-page snapshot of research findings can be found here