Court Improvement Program News and Report - 1st Quarter 2018

7/30/2018 2:37:56 PM

During the past quarter (January through April, 2018), 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:

 


 

  • Received notice on April 4, 2018, of funding of our FFY 2018 Basic CIP grant in the amount of $132,818.  The President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Public Law (P.L.) 115-123 into law on February 9, 2018.  P.L. 115-123 includes the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) in Division E, Title VII. FFPSA amends the title IV-B, subparts 1 and 2 programs to reauthorize and make other revisions, including Court Improvement Program, at current statutory funding levels through FY2021.  

 

  • Registered 99 participants to complete the 5 modules of the on-line neglect and abuse training for attorneys practicing in dependency court, and 21 to complete the ICWA training.

 

  • Hosted the statewide review of the Court Order Templates created by the CIP Court Order Template Subcommittee. Another review session is scheduled for May 7, 2018 from 12:15 to 2:15.

 

  • Promoted Nevada’s participation in the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s Fostering Court Improvement Data Project in which AFCARS and NCANDS data are used to create a platform of shared data that the courts and child welfare agencies can collaboratively use to make informed decisions, manage operations, monitor performance and make systemic changes to improve outcomes for children and families.

 

  • Continued full implementation of the Statewide Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program, a joint project between CIP and the Division of Child and Family Services. The Program Administrator trained attorneys, judiciary, and child welfare on dependency mediation.  Between July 1 and March 28, 2018, the courts have ordered 158 dependency mediations across the state, compared to 144 mediations ordered for the entire state during 2017 fiscal year. At this rate, it can be anticipated that the JDMP will receive 240 orders for mediations by the end of the SFY.  This is a 67% increase. The agreement rate thus far is 71% for the entire state.

 

    • The Children’s Justice Act grant funded a 40-hour training of nine additional mediators in dependency mediation and will fund the May 31, 2018, 8-hour training of all dependency mediators on domestic violence in juvenile dependency cases. As a result of this tremendous increase in demand for dependency mediation, the VOCA grant funding was exhausted by mid-January.Using the Child Abuse and Neglect grant of $53,000, 45 mediations were conducted between mid-January through March.  With $16,613 remaining from this grant, approximately another 32 mediations can be funded which will carry us through June when, hopefully, the next VOCA grant will begin on July 1, 2018. The JDMP continues to exist in month-to-month financial peril, even though it is providing the highest quality of services to victims of child neglect and abuse.

     

    • Taped, edited, and released on the CIP website a new training video: “An Introduction to Juvenile Dependency Mediation.”

     

    • Began the follow-up Quality Hearing Study.Thus far, Dr. Alicia Summers and Dr. Sophie Gatowski reviewed case files in the 8th and 5th JDs.  During the first week of May, Dr. Summers and Kathie Malzahn-Bass will review files in the 4th, 6th, and 7th JDs. Other courts are in the process of being scheduled.

 

  • Facilitated several Statewide Collaborative on Education, Child Welfare, and the Courts meetings. To help ensure effective implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the accompanying Nevada bill AB491, the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) sent a joint Letter on Nevada Assembly Bill491 drafted with the help of the Collaborative. This letter continues academic and social/emotional support for students in foster care, supports that are directly related to both the ESSA and AB491 requirements. This letter demonstrates the partnering relationship between NDE and DCFS, and their commitment to the law and continued efforts to safeguard educational stability for students in foster care.

 

  • Participated in the meetings of the Nevada Coalition to Prevent Sexual Exploitation of Children, and the Nevada Children’s Commission, as well as the Statewide Quality Improvement Committee and Indian Child Welfare regularly scheduled meetings.

 

  • Joined the Chief Justices’ Conference call with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Children’s Bureau with Chief Justice Michael Douglas.

 

  • Was interviewed during the Federal Site Visit as part of the preparation for the 2018 Child and Family Services Review (CFSR).  CIP also has invited the judiciary to join a federal focus group the week of June as part of the CFSR.

 

  • Contributed to the Children’s Justice Act Task Forces’ Triennial Assessment Workshop to develop its upcoming strategic plan.

 

  • Attended and participated in Community Improvement Council (CIC) meetings in the majority of the judicial districts throughout the State, providing support and information to assist with the implementation of their annual action plans developed during the 2016 and 2017 CIC Summits.