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August/September 2002Vol. 3, No. 7State Agencies Preparing for Federal Child and Family Services Reviews to Receive Assistance

In support of the effort to encourage collaboration between State agencies and the courts in the CFSRs, the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues has recently released two new publications. The first, Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs): How Judges, Court Administrators and Attorneys Should be Involved, focuses on the judicial system audience. The paper provides an overview of the process and the legal and judicial issues involved in each step, especially the stakeholder interviews, and explains in detail how court involvement in the CFSR can enhance the court improvement process.

The second publication, How and Why to Involve the Courts in Your Child and Family Services Review (CFSR): Suggestion for Agency Administrators, targets State child welfare agency administrators. This paper explains the benefits to the State agency under review in involving legal system representatives from the beginning and throughout the review process, and details how agencies can provide incentives for the courts to participate in the process--with the goals being improved court programs and better outcomes for children. Both publications include an appendix that lists the specific legal and judicial issues suggested by each of the CFSR performance indicators.

Since Federal regulations require CFSRs to address judicial processes such as permanency hearings and semiannual reviews, the Resource Center advocates that State agencies involve the courts in the reviews and encourage court participation from the earliest stages of the process.

Both publications are available in PDF format on the Resource Center website at