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.
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
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.