Topics Overview

The Center for Courts designs products, services, and learning experiences to increase understanding and awareness, and build knowledge and skills. The Center focuses its attention on developing products and resources on several core organizational and practice topics.

Topics

The Center for Courts, in collaboration with the Children's Bureau and Court Improvement Programs across the country, has identified multiple focus areas for building capacity.

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Child and Family Services Reviews

Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) are completed for jurisdictions that receive Federal child welfare funding. The CFSRs provide Federal oversight of foster care and prevention services and involve reviews and planning to correct any deficits found.

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Continuous Quality Improvement

The Center helps Court Improvement Programs (CIPs) build capacity to use a continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach to improve systems. CQI is a way to figure out if what we are doing works and where adjustments may be necessary.

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Data and Evaluation

The Center for Courts helps build the capacity of court improvement programs (CIPs) to better understand data and evaluation in the context of the child welfare court system.

Visit CIPShare for more information.

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Improving Hearing Quality

The Center for Courts helps court improvement programs (CIPs) build capacity for holding timely, quality hearings to improve the courts’ handling of child abuse and neglect cases.

Visit CIPShare for more information.

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Improving Legal Representation

The Center for Courts supports court improvement programs’ (CIPs) efforts to improve the quality of legal representation in child welfare.

Visit CIPShare for more information.

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Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) provides State courts the unique opportunity to promote Tribal and family connections for Indian children. But measuring ICWA compliance can be a challenge. There is no uniform system for data collection, leaving many jurisdictions unsure of how well they're actually doing.

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Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183) was signed into law on September 29, 2014. The law includes provisions to improve:

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Race Equity

The Center for Courts helps build the capacity of court improvement programs (CIPs) to promote race equity in the child welfare system.

Visit CIPShare for more information.

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Reasonable Efforts

The Center for Courts helps court improvement programs (CIPs) promote better practices regarding the reasonable efforts of courts in preventing the removal of a child from home and, if the child is removed, in reunifying the family.

Visit CIPShare for more information.

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Support for New Court Improvement Program (CIP) Directors

The Center for Courts helps court improvement programs (CIPs) improve the capacity and confidence of new CIP directors to excel in their roles and lead meaningful child welfare court improvements.

Visit CIPShare for more information.

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Virtual Hearings

The Center for Courts helps build the capacity of court improvement programs (CIPs) to improve the quality of virtual hearings in child welfare court.

Visit CIPShare for more information.

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