Striving to Improve Justice for Children and Families Involved in Georgia's Child Welfare Court Process
About the Committee:
Since 1995, The Supreme Court's Committee on Justice for Children (J4C) has administered the Court Improvement Project to develop and implement a data driven plan for continous improvement in juvenile dependency cases. Under the direction of the Advisory Committee, Staff of the Administrative Office of the Courts collect and analyze data, create reports and provide trainings for juvenile court stakeholders. Beginning in 2017, the Supreme Court of Georgia expanded the scope of J4C's work to include court improvement in delinquency and CHINS cases, so that now J4C's work addresses all major areas of juvenile court jurisdiction.
Our broadened assignment requires us to (1) assist in the implementation of nationally recognized best practices in Georgia’s juvenile courts; (2) provide child safety, permanency, and judicial process measures for juvenile courts; (3) work toward ensuring placement stability and decreasing time to permanency for children in foster care; (4) work to improve outcomes for children with delinquency and status - offense cases; (5) advocate for improvements in juvenile law and policy; and (6) ensure technical compliance with federal grant requirements.
The current Georgia Court Improvement Program Strategic Plan for Child Welfare sets forth eight goals:
- Providing child welfare outcome and process measures, real time and periodically, for state courts
- Improving the quality of representation for all parties in child welfare cases: including parents, children and agency
- Institutionalizing quality education and training for juvenile dependency stakeholders
- Ensuring foster parents' rights to notice and to be heard in court
- Ensuring a child's legal rights as a party and active participation in the child welfare process
- Improving Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children process
- Ensuring Title IV-E compliance
- Building Tribal Outreach and providing education on Indian Child Welfare Act