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National Council Of Juvenile & Family Court Judges

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Administration of Justice, Crime & Law

Mission: Charitable and educational purposes include: a) improving the standards, practices, and effectiveness of courts exercising jurisdiction over families and children; b) informing or assisting those who deal with or affect these courts; c) educating persons connected with these courts and other interested members of the public in developments and principles relating to such courts; and d) engaging in educational and research activities in furtherance of the foregoing objectives.

Programs: Crime control & prevention programs: family violence and domestic relations (fvdr) projects provided training, technical assistance and other services for 4,192 judges, other court professionals and direct-service providers through 67 trainings, conferences, provider/collaborative meetings, and 541 technical assistance requests. Further, the fvdr hosted 226 webinars for 21,898 participants. The national council of juvenile and family court judges (the council) has advanced change in courts and communities across the country by providing cutting-edge training, technical assistance, and policy development on issues related to the effects of abuse across a lifespan. The council's projects have enhanced the safety, well-being, and stability of domestic violence victims and their children by improving the response of criminal, civil, and social justice systems. The council has provided assistance to judges and others on protection orders, elder abuse, child custody, and a host of other issues related to domestic violence. The council also examines the intersection of domestic violence and child custody and child support issues. The council houses the resource center on domestic violence: child protection and custody and its website which provides training and technical assistance to professionals seeking to improve outcomes on child protection cases that involve domestic violence, while engaging in policy reform in those areas. The council maintains a lending library of books, videos, curricula, bench tools, policy manuals, and other publications. The council educates judges in domestic violence through the national judicial institute on domestic violence. The council also hosts and maintains the safe havens: supervised visitation and safe exchange interactive website. The council continues to be recognized as a source for training, resources, and expertise on issues involving children who are at risk of becoming or have been victims of child sex trafficking or exploitation.

crime control & prevention programs: the child welfare and juvenile law programs, as well as national conferences which overlap program services, provided training, technical assistance and other services for 13,311 judges, other court professionals, attorneys, and child welfare service providers through over 121 trainings, conferences, collaborative meetings, technical assistance or court observation site visits. The council is currently providing tailored training and technical assistance to thirteen implementation sites and three tribal model court sites across the country focusing on improving the courts' handling of child abuse and neglect cases. The goal of this initiative is to assist courts in adopting cutting-edge best practices outlined in the enhanced resource guidelines. The enhanced resource guidelines serve as a national blueprint for effective court case processing and outline the key components of recommended best practices for handling child abuse and neglect cases. The project one initiative (one family/one judge, no wrong door, equal and coordinated access to justice) provides guidance to judges and system stakeholders in five national sites to support the needs of families and children no matter which jurisdictional door of the courthouse they enter. The project is aimed at ensuring judicial officers and other decision-makers have all of the information needed to make the best decisions for children and families, to coordinate related cases to minimize the stresses and burdens among families who are involved in multiple systems and to minimize and address trauma experienced by families seeking justice. The council also performs research and evaluation in areas such as dependency court improvement, compliance with the indian child welfare act, and disproportionality in child welfare. Research focusing on enhanced resource guidelines recommended best practices have yielded important findings for the field examining processes and outcomes related to family engagement, hearing quality, alternate dispute resolution, parent/child representation, time-certain calendaring, and the one-family, one-judge practice. A number of resources and tools resulting from projects were published, including: a snapshot of the implementation sites project; disproportionality rates for children of color in foster care; indian child welfare act benchbook and lessons learned from judicial leaders about sustaining systems change. Juvenile law programs' school-justice partnership project continues to expand its knowledge from the field for the national resource center for school-justice partnership by providing tools, resources and information for jurisdictions to enhance collaboration and coordination among schools, mental and behavioral health specialists, law enforcement and juvenile justice officials to help students succeed in school and prevent negative outcomes for youth and communities. This project also provides training through an institute and a webinar series, as well as technical assistance to assist court-school teams nationwide. The juvenile drug treatment court community of practice project added three new learning collaborative sites. In addition, cohorts of seven jdtc learning collaborative sites are participating in an evaluation of the juvenile drug treatment court guidelines. The council will support this evaluation effort by providing training and technical assistance to the teams as they align their practice with the jdtc guidelines. The council is currently revising the juvenile delinquency guidelines (jdg) with funding from the state justice institute. The juvenile delinquency guidelines are the definitive publication on juvenile justice and delinquency. The update will bring the jdg update incorporating current research on adolescent development, equity, and best practices. In addition, the format of the jdg will be updated to create an interactive searchable online index. Ncjfcj, in partnership with annie e. Casey foundation (aecf) and the council of juvenile correctional administrators (cjca), is hosting the juvenile justice reform champions convening to bring together stakeholder teams to learn about strategies for promoting higher expectations of care for youth in secure placement. Teams will work on plans to advance reforms in their respective states to reduce recidivism by increasing adolescent- and therapeutically- oriented services and supports in secure placement as well as in community-based alternatives.

crime control & prevention programs: the national center for juvenile justice (ncjj) projects provided training/technical assistance or other services for approximately 1,000 judges, other court professionals, data providers, and researchers through more than 30 trainings, on-site technical assistance visits, and client/provider meetings. Research is a vital component of the council's efforts to improve the lives of children and families. Since its inception, the council's research division, ncjj, has been a resource for independent and original research on topics related directly and indirectly to the field of juvenile justice and matters that come before juvenile and family courts. Ncjj's work looks at the nature of juvenile justice in the u. S. Including trends on juvenile offending and victimization, as well as the response of the justice system to these matters. Through empirical research and program evaluations, ncjj works to improve the effectiveness and fairness of juvenile justice, dependency, and family court system processing, improve the outcomes of its many prevention and intervention programs and guide policy development. Ncjj is the nation's primary source for data on juvenile court case processing and disseminates information through its website, ncjj. Org (which logged approximately 216,000 visits with 281,000 page views annually), the statistical briefing book site (which logged approx. 1,400,000 page views during the year), and the juvenile justice gps site (which has more than 26,000 user sessions per year with more than 61,000 page views). Ncjj updated content of the statistical briefing book and each of the nine tools in the easy access family of online data analysis tools and added content to ncjj. Org and juvenile justice gps as appropriate. Ncjj also published numerous publications throughout the year including: juvenile court statistics and related fact sheets; national report bulletins, data snapshots, a "5 ways to use data" brief series, a set of three reports on evaluation of dependency mediation in nevada, a report on a college and career readiness program for foster youth in washoe county, a technical assistance bulletin on racial and ethnic disproportionality in foster care, criminological highlights: children and youth (4 issues), and the council's juvenile and family court journal (4 issues).

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