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Court Improvement Program News and Report - 4th Quarter 2016

2/6/2017 10:03:43 AM

 

During the past quarter (October through December, 2016), 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. Since that time 26 mediations have been conducted throughout the state with 19, or 73 percent, resulting in agreement.  Dependency mediation often yields an agreement because the process is so different from the adversarial nature of court proceedings.  In mediation, all parties have the opportunity to have a voice in the case.  It is an excellent opportunity for parents to better understand the importance of participating in the hearings, getting services, and following their case plans.

An additional seventeen mediations have already been scheduled for the New Year. To date mediations have been held in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Judicial Districts.  The 2nd JD regularly holds dependency mediations outside the statewide funding, but follows the same protocols and processes. 

The JDMP has formed a partnership with the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution, which is part of UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.  One of the JDMP mediators is an associate professor at the school.  She is bringing law school students who are trained mediators to observe the JDMP mediations in the 8th JD.  This will help ensure the long-term continuity of dependency mediation, as students graduating from Boyd will understand and promote the process and can also serve as future mediators.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is about to embark on a process assessment of the Statewide Program and a process and impact evaluation of the 2nd JD’s mediation program to help ensure program sustainability.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau notified CIP that it was awarded $133,158 for the federal fiscal year 2017 Basic Grant. We are continuing our national efforts to recover funding for the CIP Data and Training Grants.