NEW ARTICLE

January 30, 2019

Overcoming Barriers to Making Meaningful Reasonable Efforts Findings
by Judge Leonard Edwards, ret.*
 

Certain changes in juvenile court practice can lead to more meaningful reasonable efforts findings. Granted, there are many barriers that prevent judges from making these findings. This article explains what reasonable efforts findings the judge must make, some of the most challenging barriers that prevent the judge from making these findings, and a solution that could make reasonable efforts findings more meaningful.

Understanding Reasonable Efforts
“Reasonable efforts” findings are judicial rulings that the child welfare agency (the agency) has or has not provided appropriate services at different times during a child welfare case. According to federal and state laws judges must make reasonable efforts findings at least three distinct times during the case.[1]

The judge must make:

  1. a finding that the social worker provided reasonable efforts (services/interventions) to prevent removal of the child from parental care;
     
  2. findings that during the reunification period, the social worker provided reasonable efforts (meaningful services) to promote reunification between the parents and their child; and
     
  1. reasonable efforts findings that the social worker has taken steps to make and finalize alternate permanency plans for each foster child in a timely fashion.[2] The permanent plan could be with parents, a legal guardian, a relative, or an adoptive home.

View the full article. This information is published in the ABA Child Law Practice Today. This is an online resource, click here for this issue and archived issues.

 

[1] Social Security Act §§471(a)(15), 472(a)(1), 42 U.S.C.A. §§671(a)(15), 672(a)(1)(West Supp. 1981).
[2] 42 U.S.C. §§672(a)(2)(A)(ii); 45 C.F.R. §1356.21(b)(2)(2006).

 This information is published in the ABA Child Law Practice Today. This is an online resource, click here for this issue and archived issues.

Benchcards for Judicial Safety Decision Making

These benchcards were published as an accompanying tool to the book Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys. They are also referred to during the Safety Decision Making course presented by the Pelican Center for Children and Families - Court Improvement Program training.  The book can be accessed online. Click hereAuthors: Theresa Roe Lund MSSW and Jennifer L. Renne  Date: 2009

Published in Home Page

We want to share this quick 5-minute overview with you about the Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys that was co-authored by Jennifer Renne and Theresa Roe-Lund. We use this textbook and the bench cards in our Safety Decision Making courses that we host in Louisiana. We offer a one-hour webinar and a 6 hour class periodically. Click for the video link.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:03

Introduction to "The Safety Guide"

We want to share this quick 5-minute overview with you about the Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys that was co-authored by Jennifer Renne and Theresa Roe-Lund. We use this textbook and the bench cards in our Safety Decision Making courses that we host in Louisiana. We offer a one-hour webinar and a 6 hour class periodically. Click for the video link.

Published in Home Page

Collateral consequences are legal disabilities imposed by law that result from a criminal conviction. The laws that spawn these collateral consequences can create social and economic barriers for those with criminal convictions. They are known to adversely affect adoptions, housing, welfare, immigration, employment, professional licensure, property rights, mobility, and other opportunities open to others. The NICCC is a tool that enables responsible prosecutors, defense counsel, and judges to be aware of the collateral consequences of criminal convictions and to consider whether conviction for particular offenses results in unfair or unintended consequences and whether there are dispositions that would avoid such consequences. It also enables every state and the federal government to take a fresh look at the mass of collateral consequences that have developed over decades and then determine whether some should be eliminated, modified, or clarified. Before the creation of the NICCC, personnel central to case dispositions could not readily determine the extent to which collateral consequences deny those who have completed sentences opportunities for education, housing, and employment. The focus should be on restricting collateral consequences to only those proven necessary for public safety.

This report presents the features and purposes of the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC), which was developed by the American Bar Association to make accessible to criminal justice personnel and the general public the sanctions and disqualifications that flow from a criminal conviction but are not part of the actual sentence filed in a criminal case.

American Bar Association, United States of America

Link to document.

Domestic Child Sex Trafficking - Desk Reference Guide from the Capacity Building Center for Courts. 2018.

Bench Card for Judges and other legal professionals.

Please click the attachment to open this document. 

 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 10:58

Louisiana Bench Cards for Judges

Louisiana Bench Cards for Judges (updated 2015)

Louisiana Bench Cards for Judges - most recently updated in 2015. This set covers:

Entry Order

Evaluation Order

TRO/Protective Order

Instanter Custody/Safety Plan Order

Continued Custody Hearing (CINC)

Continued custody Hearing (FINS/Delinquency)

Appearance to Answer

Adjudication Hearing

Disposition Hearing

Case Review Hearing

Permanency Hearing – Reunification

Permanency Hearing – Adoption (including TPR)

Permanency Hearing – Legal Guardianship

Permanency Hearing – Placement with Relative

Permanency Hearing – Alternative Permanent Living Arrangement

 

Please click on the attached file to open the pdf of the document. 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 10:13

Louisiana Bench Cards for Judges

Louisiana Bench Cards for Judges - most recently updated in 2015. This set covers:

Entry Order

Evaluation Order

TRO/Protective Order

Instanter Custody/Safety Plan Order

Continued Custody Hearing (CINC)

Continued custody Hearing (FINS/Delinquency)

Appearance to Answer

Adjudication Hearing

Disposition Hearing

Case Review Hearing

Permanency Hearing – Reunification

Permanency Hearing – Adoption (including TPR)

Permanency Hearing – Legal Guardianship

Permanency Hearing – Placement with Relative

Permanency Hearing – Alternative Permanent Living Arrangement

 

Please click on the attached file to open the pdf of the document. 

Published in Judges

The Capacity Building Center for Courts has created a Domestic Child Sex Trafficking Judicial Desk Reference Guide.  This resource provides links and examples of how Court Improvement Programs (CIP) can implement P.L. 113-183.  Specifically, it addresses:

 

How to form a 113-183 Task Force

 

How to measure your success as a 113-183 Task Force

 

How to identify victims and potential victims of Trafficking

 

How to identify and provide services for victims/potential victims of Trafficking

 

How to be (Trafficking) Trauma-Informed and how to conduct a Trauma audit of your court

 

The PDF version is attached here and the web link to the resource is: file:///C:/Users/lesli/Downloads/113-183BenchReference-_ColorFixed-md4_jd4_cm-md-QF.PDF

 

Take Care,

 

Leslie Briner, MSW

P.L. 113-183 Sex Trafficking Constituency Group Lead

CAPACITY BUILDING CENTER FOR STATES

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Press Release

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges - October 31, 2017

Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in 1978 to address the widespread practice of state entities removing American Indian and Alaskan Native children from their homes and families. Congressional findings memorialized in ICWA included "an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families are broken up by the removal, often unwarranted, of their children from them by non-tribal public and private agencies and that a high percentage of such children are placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions." "In order to best serve the children and families of our community, we must develop and support collaboration between state and tribal court systems," said Hon. Richard Blake, Hoopa Valley Tribe, president, National American Indian Court Judges Association.

Benchbook: http://www.ncjfcj.org/sites/default/files/NCJFCJ_ICWA_Judicial_Benchbook_Final_Web.pdf

http://www.ncjfcj.org/ICWABenchbook

 

 

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