• January/February 2001
  • Vol. 2, No. 1

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Report Highlights Improvements in Dependency Courts

State courts, legislators, and program coordinators can read about different approaches to court improvement in the Court Improvement Progress Report 2000 Update.

State summaries and a State contact list provides readers with details about what activities are taking place in each court system and who administers them. The report also lists State-developed materials that are available for review.

A comprehensive index and national summary outlines the status of court reform in the following major areas:

  • implementation projects
  • hearing quality and depth
  • legal representation of parties
  • timeliness of decisions
  • notice to and participation of parties
  • treatment of parties
  • quality and professionalism of the judiciary
  • court staffing
  • technology
  • training and education
  • legislation and court rules
  • evaluations
  • overall strategies and barriers
  • use of Federal grant funds

The State Court Improvement Project began in 1993 with a provision in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) to fund improvements to judicial handling of child abuse and neglect cases. In 1997, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which added an additional three years of implementation funding for the court improvement effort, amended OBRA.

To purchase a copy of the Court Improvement Progress Report 2000, contact the ABA Center on Children and the Law Customer Service Center at 800-285-2221 (order #5490290, $9.95).

Related Items

These past issues of the Children's Bureau Express have focused on court improvement:

  • "National Videoconference Examines Model Court Practices in Abuse and Neglect Cases" (March 2000)
  • "Model Courts are Models for Change" (May 2000)
  • "California Courts Produce Activity Book for Kids" (July 2000)
  • "California Guides Parents Through Dependency Courts" (July 2000)
  • "National Resource Center Helps Child Welfare Courts Improve" (November 2000)
  • "Benefits of Using Non-Judicial Staff to Aid Dependency Courts" (November 2000)
  • "New Federal Law Aims to Strengthen Child Abuse and Neglect Courts" (November 2000)

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