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Thursday, 01 February 2018 10:32

Louisiana Children’s Justice Act (CJA)

Written by

Louisiana Children’s Justice Act Task Force

Three-Year Recommendations
2012-2015

KEY:
CJA Categories: 
A  =  handling of cases of child abuse and neglect
B  =  innovative program development to improve the prompt and successful resolution of court proceedings or enhance effective judicial and administrative action in child abuse and neglect cases
C  =  reform of state laws, ordinances, regulations, protocols, and procedures

Recommendation Type:
(T) = Training Recommendation
Policy Recommendations are reflected throughout the document and are not specifically labeled.

Mission Statement: Work collaboratively to improve investigative, administrative, prosecutorial, and judicial processes for child victims of abuse and neglect by advancing systemic reform through innovative and evidence based policies, programs, practices, and training.

CJA

Category

RECOMMENDED GOALS

PROPOSED STRATEGIES

PRIORITY

Collaboration

 

A-C

1. Support and Strengthen CJA Infrastructure

  1. Performance Measures – activities and outcomes:
    • Task Force Self-Evaluation
    •  Grantee Presentations/Reports on Goals and Objectives
  2. Convey/share CJA performance with community and to other agencies
  3. Participate in Required Annual CJA Meeting hosted by the U.S. Children's Bureau
  4. Support quarterly LA CJA Task Force meetings
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

A-C

2. Collaborate with Child Welfare Stakeholders to Improve Processes/Outcomes for Child Victims of Abuse and Neglect

  1. CJA Fellow (Part-time with Travel included)
  2. 2. Courts – Support specialization
  3. Education – Mandatory Reporting
  4. Youth Planning Board
  5. Louisiana Children’s Code
  6. State Death Review Panel

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

B- C

3. Support Establishment of Child Welfare Center of Excellence

  1. Partner with Pelican Center to provide: Policy Analysis, Training, Technical Assistance & Legislation as needed
Y1, Y2, Y3

Child Victims with Disabilities

 

A

1. Increase Cross Training (T)

  1. Assist with institutionalizing the training for skills & knowledge to include interviewing to prevent additional trauma to the victim

Y2,Y3

Laws & Protocols

 

A, C

1. Promote the safety, permanency & well-being for child victims of abuse/neglect (T)

  1. Monitor enactment and implementation of federal legislation and policies
  2. Support responsive laws and internal policies 

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

A, C

2. Advance Effective Substance Abuse Intervention Processes (T)

  1. Promote family drug court programming/alternative processes for timely access to treatment/intervention for substance abusing parents
  2. Monitor legislation targeting substance abusing moms

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

Programs to Improve Process

 

A-C

1. Advance Quality Advocacy for Children (T)

  1. Caring & competent CASA volunteers in every JDC
  2. Access in every community to a CAC
  3. Support initiatives to improve legal representation of children & indigent parents

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

A-C

2. Foster Collaboration at the Community Level to Improve System Response to Child Abuse/Neglect (T)

1. Child Death Review
2. Children born to substance abusers with focus on children 0-5

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

A-C

3. Advance Initiatives which Engage Children, Youth, and Families in the Decision Making Process (T)

  1. Alternative Response
  2. Disproportionate Minority Representation & Disparate Treatment of Children of Color (formerly known as Knowing Who You Are) Trainer Development & Implementation
  3. Support LA CSFR/PIP

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

Training/Resources

 

A, C

1. Enhance access to current evidence-driven knowledge (T)

  1. Continue CLARO Website.
  2. Links with Midwest CAC
  3. Include Human Trafficking

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

A, C

1. Maximize opportunities for collaboration on training processes (T)

  1. Support Conferences related to CJA mission – ensure child focus to child welfare professionals
  2. Assess gaps in all supported conferences in attendance representation & address in planning for upcoming conferences supported by CJA
  3. Continue Practice Toolkit targeted to all professionals
  4. Collaborate with Pelican Center [formerly known as Child Welfare Center of Excellence (CWCOE)] to maximize access to training
  5. Pursue open discussions with physicians, emergency room physicians, coroners, first responders, law enforcement to develop training on effective interviewing skills, crime scenes, rape kits and forensic sexual exams
  6. Ongoing Professional Training appropriate to different levels of staff
  7. Include Human Trafficking
  8. Ongoing & expand regional MDT training

Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y1, Y2, Y3

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 09:25

How we should care for Louisiana's Children

Written by

How we should care for Louisiana's Childern In Their Own Words

How we should care for Louisiana's Children In Their Own Words:
A project by the Task Force on Legal Representation in Child Protection Cases

Total time:
- 37 minutes

Thursday, 26 April 2012 19:00

New Resources and Important Information

Written by

2015 FORM FOR REPRESENTING CHILDREN IN LOUISIANA

Attorneys in Louisiana who wish to represent children in court must complete an annual form and submit it to the Louisiana Supreme Court. The form confirms that the attorney has taken the required CLE hours. The rule and the form can be obtained here

NEW LAW'S PROVISION PROMOTES WELL-BEING FOR YOUTH IN CARE

Research has shown that engaging in extracurricular, social, and cultural activities helps promote a sense of normalcy among youth in foster care. While these activities have been shown to support their social, cognitive, and emotional development, youth in care often face legal barriers to participating in certain activities in the same ways their classmates and other peers do. Among the provisions of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183), signed into law September 29, 2014, is a requirement for States to implement a "reasonable and prudent parent standard" that will empower foster parents or other designated decision-makers to make decisions to allow youth in foster care to participate in healthy and developmentally appropriate activities such as field trips, sleepovers, and other extracurricular activities. This standard is intended to expand opportunities for youth in care to engage in activities that will promote their well-being. Promoting Well-Being Through the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard: A Guide for States Implementing the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980) is available through this link.

Thursday, 28 October 2010 00:00

Qualified Children's Attorneys

Written by

Form to Submit Attorney Hours

Rule 33, Part II, Subpart I of the Supreme Court Rules provides for qualification of children’s attorneys by meeting 3 requirements (licensed, in good standing, completion of 6 hours of approved legal education).  The Supreme Court does not “qualify” attorneys per se, but does maintain a list of those attorneys who have met the qualification requirements.  So attorneys are qualified as soon as they have met all three requirements, even if they haven’t sent in their paperwork and/or their names have not yet been posted on the website.

Section 1.   Purpose

This rule provides an administrative procedure to ensure appointment of qualified counsel to children in child abuse and neglect proceedings.

Section 2.   Applicability

The provisions of this rule apply to all counsel appointed on or after July 1, 2005 to represent children in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases, as defined in Rule XXXIII, Part I, Section 2.

Section 3.   Qualifications of Appointed Counsel

A.  Prior to appointment as counsel for children in child abuse and neglect proceedings, an attorney shall have the following qualifications:

The attorney shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Louisiana and in good standing with the Louisiana State Bar Association; and …

Effective January 1, 2006 and thereafter, the attorney shall complete a minimum of six hours of approved continuing legal education each calendar year, and shall submit to the Supreme Court documentation of compliance no later than January 31 of the following calendar year.

The requisite education shall include relevant law and jurisprudence, child development, child abuse and neglect, and the roles, responsibilities and duties of independent counsel for children, including the Standards for Representation of Children.

B. Attorneys shall submit evidence of their qualifications to the Louisiana Supreme Court, Division of Children and Families, and a list of attorneys qualified for appointment shall be maintained and published by the Court.

C. Appointment of counsel for children in child abuse and neglect cases shall be made from the list of qualified attorneys, except when the court appoints an attorney otherwise qualified but not yet on the list. In that case, the court shall document the qualifications of the attorney and instruct the attorney to file the documentation with the Supreme Court.

The 6 hours of “approved continuing legal education… shall include relevant law and jurisprudence, child development, child abuse and neglect, and the roles, responsibilities and duties of independent counsel for children, including the Standards for Representation of Children.”  These hours may also qualify for MCLE hours.  For example, we allow all 6 hours to be completed online, but in accordance with their rules the Bar will not give credit for all 6 online hours towards MCLE.  There may be other trainings that meet our requirements that have not been approved for MCLE – such as some national conferences – but just because we will accept those hours does not mean that the Bar will.  Likewise, there may be MCLE approved trainings that we would NOT consider appropriate for approval… usually based on the relevance of the subject matter.

 

 

Tuesday, 28 September 2010 00:30

Louisiana Foster Care: An Introduction

Written by

Louisiana Foster Care: An Introduction from LSBA on Vimeo.

The Children's Law Committee would like to share the video entitled," Louisiana Foster Care: An Introduction", with you in hopes that it will enrich the lives of children and stakeholders in our community and beyond. Please feel free to share the DVD with others or the video can be reviewed at http://www.lsba.org/fostercare. Maneuvering through the foster care system can be a challenge for an experienced attorney. For children involved in foster care cases, it can be a confusing time in their lives. To help children feel more comfortable, the LSBA’s Children’s Law Committee has produced a video explaining the foster care process. The video has become a tool for attorneys, social workers and other individuals involved in foster care cases.

Thursday, 13 November 2008 00:18

Reasonable Efforts Workshop

Written by
On August 13, 2008, Judge Richard FitzGerald (bio below) joined J4C to present a two-hour workshop on Reasonable Efforts.  The workshop, held at Emory University School of Law, focused on the history, definition, and power of the Reasonable Efforts finding.  Attended primarily by attorneys, but also other child welfare representatives, the workshop (link to webcast below) was widely praised by attendees.  


Webcast and Documents

The webcast can be viewed at: http://www.law.emory.edu/webcast/fitzgerald.ram.  Additionally, the handouts from the workshop, and documents referred to during the lecture, are available below.


Judge Richard FitzGerald

Judge Richard FitzGerald is a Senior Judge of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Since assuming the bench in 1975, he has served as a District Judge and Special Circuit Judge. He served as chief judge of the Family Court.

Judge FitzGerald has served as adjunct faculty for the University of Louisville School of Law and for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. He has been a visiting professor at the ChildLaw Center at Loyola University.

Prior to assuming the bench in 1975, Judge FitzGerald worked as a social worker with the Christian Appalachian Project in McKee, Kentucky and taught at Hughes – Quinn Junior High School in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Judge FitzGerald serves as a member of advisory board of The National Association of Counsel for Children. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile & Family Judges and is the past chairman of the Permanency Planning Committee.  He currently serves as a consultant to Court Improvement Programs as a judicial educator for various states.

Judge FitzGerald is the recipient of the judge of the year award from the National CASA Association and the Louisville Bar Association. He has received the National Council of Juvenile and Family Courts Judges Award for Meritorious Service to the Juvenile Court System and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the Justice Resource Center. He has been awarded an “Equality Award” by the Urban League and the “Chief Justice’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Courts of Kentucky”. Upon his retirement, he received the Governors “Distinguished Citizen Award”. In 2003, he was awarded a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Bellarmine University.

Judge FitzGerald is the co-author of “Juvenile Practice” for West Publishing Co. and was a contributing consultant in the drafting of “The Resource Guidelines for Improving Practice in Abuse and Neglect Cases” and “the Resource Guidelines for Adoption and Permanency” published by the NCJFCJ.  He also participated in the publication of “Effective Interventions in the Intersection of Family Violence and Child Maltreatment.”

Files:

 

Child Welfare Information Gateway has expanded the Mental Health Services section of its website. This web section focuses on mental health as it relates to children and youth involved in the child welfare system, who may be at greater risk for mental health issues than children in the general population.

The section is designed to provide information of interest to administrators involved with developing and funding mental health programs and to supervisors, caseworkers, and other related professionals who secure, provide, or monitor mental health treatment for children and families. The web section addresses such topics as:
  • Common mental health issues for children, youth, and families involved in child welfare
  • Range and effectiveness of mental health services
  • Working with families, including resources on specific diagnoses, assessment, and funding
  • Obtaining mental health services
  • Systems issues in mental health service delivery, including cross-system collaboration and funding.
  • Mental health outcomes in the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), including links to State resources demonstrating improvement efforts

Visit the Mental Health Services web section at www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/service_array/mentalhealth