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Court-based child welfare reforms: Improved child/family outcomes and potential cost savings

Thornton, E. – 2012

An overview of effective court-based child welfare reforms. Discusses the family drug treatment court model, and provides examples of successful family drug treatment court programs in Oregon, California, and Michigan. Describes the need for improved legal representation for individuals in child welfare cases, and provides examples of programs in Washington State, California, and New York City. Discusses case mediation and restorative justice practices and provides examples of programs in New York City and Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota (tribal model). Discusses the Courts Catalyzing Change (CCC) Initiative, which addresses disproportionality in child welfare. Describes other court programs that address such issues as child welfare quality control, Title IV-E compliance, and court/agency partnership reforms. Notes the importance of judicial leadership and collaboration among various child welfare stakeholders.