Many courts play a principal role in making decisions regarding the protection of children who have been maltreated. Provides professionals involved in child protection with resources and information about the legal process in child abuse and neglect cases, including information about cases involving sexual abuse and State and local examples.
Child Abuse and Neglect Resource Library
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Improves the court system's handling of juvenile and family matters through applied research; technical assistance; and continuing education of judges and juvenile justice professionals on family violence, child abuse and neglect, and child protection and custody.
Child Maltreatment and the Law: Returning to First Principles
Helps social workers, researchers, and policymakers understand legal concepts related to child protection and the role legal systems play in family life.
The Legal Response to Child Abuse and Neglect
In Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect (8th Ed.)
Reviews the legal rights of parents and children in child abuse and neglect cases, types of court intervention, participants in the juvenile court process, advantages and disadvantages of juvenile court, criminal court processes, and the impact of court procedures on children.
The Legal System and Child Maltreatment
McCoy & Keen (2009)
In Child Abuse and Neglect
Highlights programs to prepare children to testify in court, describes how allegations of child maltreatment may be addressed in different types of courts, and presents research findings on criminal justice decisions in child abuse cases.
National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse (NCPCA)
Training, legal assistance, court reform, and information on criminal child abuse investigations and prosecutions.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 806KB)
Right From the Start: The CCC Preliminary Protective Hearing Benchcard: A Tool for Judicial Decision-Making (PDF - 1363 KB)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2010)
Provides information on an initiative that creates and disseminates judicial tools, policy and practice guidelines, and associated action plans that court systems can implement to reduce disproportionality and disparities.
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau
Jones, William G.
Download (PDF - 8,051KB)
The Safe Babies Court Teams Project
ZERO TO THREE
Describes a project to improve outcomes for infants and young children in court and prevent future court involvement. The website links to 10 sites across the country; lists 10 core components; and offers products, evaluation materials, and more.
Strategies for Effective Statewide Judicial Commissions on the Protection of Children (PDF - 823 KB)
Sydow & Van Duizend (2011)
National Center for State Courts
Analyzes the effectiveness of statewide commissions on the protection of children with regard to the child protection process and outcomes for children and families involved in that process; identifies needed improvements in procedures, performance, and services; and provides recommendations for the implementation of those improvements.
Child Sexual Abuse: Coping With the Emotional Stress of the Legal System: Information for Parents and Caregivers (PDF - 1,301 KB)
National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Child Sexual Abuse Committee (2009)
Provides parents and caregivers with resources on the role of the legal system in child sexual abuse cases, discusses common concerns about going to court, and offers methods of coping with or reducing those concerns. Includes tips for helping children cope with the stress of a trial.
Child Victims of Sexual Abuse and the Law (PDF - 2161 KB)
Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, 12(3), 2009
Reviews the significant legal issues presented in the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse allegations and the procedural, evidentiary, and substantive protections for child victims.
Opening Statements and Closing Arguments in Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Offers online training to help lawyers deliver effective and convincing opening statements as well as compelling and passionate closing arguments during a child sexual abuse case.
Child Protection Reassessment: An Evaluation of the Role of Idaho Courts in Abuse and Neglect Cases: Final Report and Recommendations
Boise State University Social Science Research Center
Incudes an indepth quantitative and/or qualitative analysis of each of the three aspects of the child protection process—timeliness of judicial decision-making, quality of process, and legal representation—followed by a set of recommendations for improving overall practice in Idaho's child protection courts.
Child Protective Proceedings Benchbook: A Guide to Abuse and Neglect Cases (PDF - 3,564 KB)
Michigan Judicial Institute (4th ed.) (2013)
Explains the procedures required in child protective proceedings, from reporting and investigating suspected child abuse and neglect to required court hearings in the Family Division of the Circuit Court to appeals to the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court.
Texas Practice Guide for Child Protective Services Attorneys
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (2012)
Provides Texas regional, county, and district attorneys with easy access to succinct statements of relevant law and policy, as well as best practice tips, resources, sample forms, checklists, and a trial notebook.
The Time Is Now: A Video for Parents
West Virginia Court Improvement Program (2010)
Explains child abuse and neglect investigations and discusses the goals of investigations for parents and caregivers involved in the child welfare system.