Toolkit to help judges, lawyers with child placements

Appropriate placements for children in abuse and neglect cases - either reuniting child and family or finding another permanent home - is the goal of a new online toolkit aimed at judges and lawyers who handle child protection cases.

Created by the Child Welfare Services Division of the Supreme Court Administrative Office, the toolkit is organized by hearings at various stages in child protection proceedings. Each section includes a description of the hearing, applicable court rules and statutes, bench cards, recommended court forms, links to training videos and materials, administrative memorandum, and other resources and publications.

Depending on the circumstances that led to court jurisdiction, a plan to achieve permanency will either seek to reunite the child and family or seek an alternative permanent home setting. The toolkit includes step-by-step guidelines for judges to follow.

Kelly Howard, Child Welfare Services Director, said the toolkit is a comprehensive resource to help judges and attorneys work toward proper permanency of a child. "For the court to make appropriate decisions on a child's behalf, the court needs an accurate, thorough set of facts," Howard said. "This kit provides a one-stop source of information for those who have to make sound judgments concerning a child's placement."

The toolkit is available at

Published: Mon, Sep 2, 2013