Resources and information about the use of family courts to hear cases involving child abuse and neglect, including State and local examples.
Case Workers in Family Court: A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Analysis
Lens & Cary Katz & Spencer Suarez (2016)
Children and Youth Services Review, , 68, (p. 107-114, )
Explores interactions between judges and caseworkers in child maltreatment cases in family court. The study examined the extent to which judges demonstrated therapeutic jurisprudence principles in their courtroom interactions, considering past findings that link such practices to positive outcomes in court.
The Child Witness in the Courtroom
American Academy of Pediatrics
Provides information on legal issues related to children testifying in court, including recommendations for policy improvements to minimize the adverse psychological consequences for child witnesses in criminal, civil, and family courts. The goal is to reduce the secondary traumatization of and long-term consequences for children providing testimony about violence they have experienced or witnessed.
Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases (PDF - 14,858 KB)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2016)
Presents guidelines developed for use by judges and court professionals as a tool to enhance court practice in child abuse and neglect cases, including in family court. This publication provides juvenile and family courts with a clear description of ways to fulfill their growing responsibilities in child abuse and neglect cases.
Families in Waiting: Adult Stakeholder Perceptions of Family Court
Shdaimah & Summers (2014)
Children and Youth Services Review, , 44, (p. 114-119, )
Examines perspectives of parents who participated in juvenile delinquency or dependency hearings in family court. Most respondents understood the family court process, felt their voices were heard, and were satisfied with their treatment.
The Modern Family Court Judge: Knowledge, Qualities & Skills for Success (PDF - 1,608 KB)
Outlines the complex knowledge, skills, and qualities needed by today's family court judges. The paper describes the special nature of family court and its judges and highlights how important it is to have a highly skilled and dedicated judicial officer making decisions that impact families.
Preparing for a Trauma Consultation in Your Juvenile and Family Court (PDF - 468 KB)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2015)
Aims to help judges and courts decide whether a trauma consultation is appropriate for their jurisdiction and to outline what courts can expect before, during, and after a consultation. Juvenile and family court judges are in a unique position to promote healing and prevent future trauma for the children in their courtrooms.
State and local examples
Family Court Operations
District of Columbia Courts (2017)
Describes Washington D.C.'s family courts, which receive and process cases of child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency, adoption, divorce, custody, guardianship, and more.
Family Court Services and Mediation
New Mexico Courts
Explains services offered by the family court system in New Mexico, including mediation services for children under the age of 18 who are involved in child abuse/neglect cases or going through divorce, paternity/custody issues, or other related cases.
Guide to Dependency Court – For Parents
California Courts (2018)
Outlines standard court processes for parents whose children have been placed into the child welfare system.