• September 2007
  • Vol. 8, No. 8

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How State Legislatures Can Support the Court System

A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a blueprint for legislatures' efforts to support and strengthen the State courts that handle child welfare cases. The report, Delivering on the Promise: Promoting Court Capacity to Improve Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children, provides an overview of the court system and the types of hearings that must be held for a child welfare case. It describes the impact of Federal legislation that led to increased caseloads and shorter timelines for processing cases. Court reforms that have been mandated by the Court Improvement Program and the Child and Family Services Reviews are also discussed.

The report outlines the specific roles that State legislatures can assume in supporting the development of effective State court systems, including eliminating barriers to court/agency information sharing, developing ongoing strategies for measuring performance, and promoting collaboration among courts, child welfare agencies, Tribes, and other partners to improve outcomes.

Delivering on the Promise: Promoting Court Capacity to Improve Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children can be found online:

www.ncsl.org/print/cyf/deliveringpromise.pdf (PDF- 639 KB)

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