Training for Community Partners: Courts
The Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process has demonstrated that the child welfare system's collaboration with the courts is critical to achieving positive outcomes for children, youth, and families. The following resources address training curricula and materials to help legal professionals, such as judges, court-appointed special advocates (CASAs), and lawyers better understand the child welfare system and the overlapping issues affecting each system. Resources include State and local examples.
Engaging Courts and Building Court/Agency Collaboration
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (2007)
Provides handouts and an audio file from a conversation between two retired juvenile court judges about working with courts and agencies to enhance their collaboration and to increase court participation in the CFSR process.
Ensuring the Healthy Development of Infants in Foster Care: A Guide for Judges, Advocates and Child Welfare Professionals (PDF - 6,690 KB)
Dicker & Gordon (2004)
Describes how to ensure that children receive necessary services by integrating assessment into the permanency planning process.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Links to several trainings for judges and other court professionals on topics such as child abuse and neglect, adoption and permanency guidelines, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, community collaboration, and more.
Advocating for Nonresident Fathers in Child Welfare Court Cases (PDF - 1730 KB)
ABA Center on Children and the Law & National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System (2009)
Provides tools for lawyers to incorporate fathers into child welfare cases, including checklists highlighting key practice strategies, sample questions, interstate placement guidance, handouts, and more.
Child Sexual Abuse: A Judicial Perspective
Discusses the history of children in America's courts and the potential for making courts safe for children. Addresses whether children may testify and whether professionals and others may testify about what children told them.
Collaboration with the Courts: Trainer's Guide (PDF - 272 KB)
Institute for Child and Family Policy, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service (2004)
Provides an outline for a workshop about the implications of the Adoption and Safe Families Act for relationships between the court and the child welfare system.
Helping Babies From the Bench: Using the Science of Early Childhood Development in Court
ZERO TO THREE (2007)
Raises awareness of the impact maltreatment has on developmental outcomes for infants and toddlers and highlights how judges can intervene on behalf of the child.
A National Curriculum for Caseflow Management in Juvenile Dependency Cases Involving Foster Care (PDF - 261 KB)
Fostering Results, Justice Management Institute, & JERITT Project (2005)
Presents a caseflow management workshop curriculum specifically geared for use with multidisciplinary, interagency teams of practitioners dealing with juvenile dependency cases involving children in foster care.
Understanding Child Welfare and the Dependency Court: A Guide for Substance Abuse Treatment Professionals
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (2004)
Assists substance abuse professionals in understanding the impact of child welfare and dependency court requirements on substance abuse clients who are parents.
Youth in Court Training and Technical Assistance Package
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law
Describes resources offered by the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues as part of the Bar-Youth Empowerment Project. Provides judges, lawyers, CASAs, social workers, foster parents, and all other stakeholders with effective strategies and practices to enhance the involvement of youth in court.
State and local examples
CASA Training Page
Arizona Supreme Court (2005)
Discusses court procedures, including confidentiality, court report writing, criminal proceedings, permanency options, and testifying in court.
Court Improvement Program Curricula
Colorado Supreme Court, Court Improvement Program
Provides multiple trainings to help participants and practitioners understand aspects of the child welfare system.
Courtroom Skills: Assessment of Training Quality and Participant Learning (PDF - 752 KB)
Stokes & Sanders (2006)
Describes the outcomes of a training program designed to improve the courtroom skills of Missouri juvenile officers and Children's Division caseworkers in the area of court preparation and testimony.
MCLE Training Sessions for New Dependency Court Counsel
Children's Advocacy Institute, University of San Diego School of Law (2007)
Offers video and handouts from a training to prepare attorneys appearing in dependency court with less than 1 year of experience, including information on the legal framework for child welfare law, interviewing children, educational advocacy, the appeals process, and more.
Child Welfare Information Gateway encourages organizations to submit resources from their workforce or training efforts for inclusion in our library. Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.