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Court Improvement Program News and Report - 1st Quarter 2017

5/17/2017 2:07:45 PM

 

During the past quarter (January through March, 2017), the Court Improvement Program (CIP) has focused on three primary strategies: improving timeliness to permanency for children; increasing judicial, attorney, and stakeholder’s knowledge and expertise; and building systemic capacity through continual quality improvement (CQI) and data exchange.

 

 


 

CIP’s principal initiatives to help reduce barriers to timely permanency for children included supporting the Community Improvement Councils (CIC) in each judicial district.  During the 2016 CIC Summit, the CICs developed aggressive action plans for the upcoming year. The CIP Coordinator attended and participated in CIC meetings in the majority of the judicial districts throughout the State, providing support and information to assist with the implementation of the action plans.

 

To help improve timeliness to permanency and build systemic capacity, CIP launched the statewide Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program (JDMP) on July 1, 2016. Since that time, 56 mediations have been conducted throughout the state with 47, or 84 percent, resulting in agreement.  Sixteen more mediations have already been scheduled for the final quarter.  The use of mediation is increasing and is successful.  The 11th Judicial District has scheduled its first mediation to be conducted in the 4th quarter, leaving the 6th and 7th JDs yet to hold dependency mediation.  The 7th JD ordered mediation in the 1st quarter, but the case settled prior to the mediation.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is conducting a process assessment of the Statewide Program, and process and impact evaluations of the 2nd JD’s mediation program to help ensure program sustainability. They have gathered the majority of the data for the studies and are beginning the analysis.  NCJFCJ has observed how effectively and efficiently the courts have integrated mediation into their processes.  NCJFCJ has assigned two outstanding researchers, Sophie Gatowski, Ph.D. and Gene Siegel, to manage these studies. Dr. Gatowski provided technical assistance to the Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission and is familiar with dependency in Nevada.  She has also conducted numerous dependency mediation evaluations across the country.  She believes that the depth of this study will expand national knowledge on the subject.

Since the On-Line Attorney Dependency training was launched the end of January; 14 attorneys and CASAs from across the state have registered to take the course and two have completed and received their certificate of completion.  Several courts plan to require contract attorneys to complete the course.

 

The Statewide Collaborative on Education, Child Welfare, and the Courts in collaboration with the ABA Center on Children and the Law planned a BDR to incorporate the federal Every Student Succeeds Act into the Nevada Revised Statutes.  The resultant bill, AB491, was sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Education and passed out of the Nevada State Assembly as amended.  It will next be heard by the Senate Committee on Education where a few more matters will be resolved.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau notified CIP on March 2, 2017 that it was awarded an additional $2,156 for a total of $135,314 for the federal fiscal year 2017 Basic Grant. CIP is continuing its national efforts to recover funding for the CIP Data and Training Grants.  CIP developed and submitted an information package to the National Center for State Courts, NCJFCJ, and the American Bar Association to continue national efforts to recover funding for the CIP Data and Training Grants lost as the result of an analyst’s error.  The Conference of Chief Justices issued a resolution in support of full reauthorization of CIP Data and Training Grant funding.

 

The Children’s Justice Act Task Force offered CIP a grant for $10,475 to develop and deliver a training toolkit for the Statewide Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program.