The Court Improvement Initiative (CII) is modeled after the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Model Courts Program. Judges from seventeen jurisdictions across the state voluntarily joined CII to improve how courts handle child abuse and neglect cases. CII courts gather twice a year to share practices, attend workshops on emerging best practices, and develop protocols or standards for CII courts to initiate in their jurisdictions.
The semiannual CII meetings provide a forum for vigorous discussion and shared learning. Each participating court reports on their jurisdiction’s ongoing improvement efforts.
The Court Improvement Initiative provides stakeholder meetings in the participating jurisdictions to review compliance with best practices in child welfare cases. The National Counsel of Juvenile and Family Court Judges produces a County Practice Guide (CPG) of best practices, and in 2015 J4C hired national experts to tailor the CPG to Georgia’s new Juvenile Code, and tested the CPG in two jurisdictions before taking it to the wider participants. Local CPG trainings are ongoing.
The continual review of child welfare data is an important aspect of CII, giving judges insights into broader trends statewide and informing judicial decision-making. A primary resource for this data is fosteringcourtimprovement.org
CII PARTICIPATING JURISDICTIONS
Atlanta Judicial Circuit
Eastern Judicial Circuit
Paulding County Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit Toombs Judicial Circuit
Western Judicial Circuit