ERIC Number: ED413052
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Improving the Court Process for Alaska's Children in Need of Aid. Executive Summary.
Carns, Teresa W.; DiPietro, Susanne D.; Connors, Joan F.; Cotton, William T.; Vandercook, Marcia
An assessment was conducted to determine how well the Alaskan court system and other agencies in the child welfare system meet the needs of abused and neglected children, their families, and society's interests in these cases. Data were collected through analysis of 473 case files in four courts; interviews with 60 attorneys, judges, guardians ad litem, tribal representatives, and others in four communities; observations of hearings in three courts; analyses of laws, court rules, cases, and regulations governing Child in Need of Aid (CINA) cases; and input from the public, the Advisory Committee, and special interest organizations. Ten major findings included: (1) there were significant variations in case processing among locations; (2) judges believed that they lacked authority to oversee Division of Youth Services (DFYS) decisions for the most part; (3) court involvement in Child in Need of Aid (CINA) cases was characterized by multiple, short hearings; (4) numerous parties participating; (5) most cases closed within 18 months; (6) CINA cases involving Native children adjudicated at twice the rate of cases with non-Native children; (7) complaints about delays were common to each location studied ; (8) limited court facilities existed; (9) implementation of requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) varied; and (10) other agencies' decisions, practices, and resources affect court actions. General and specific recommendations are made regarding the judge's role, delay reduction, consistency among courts, relationships among parties, judicial training and education, court facilities, working with other agencies, statutory and rules revisions, and the ICWA. (KB)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Child Welfare, Children, Court Judges, Court Litigation, Court Role, Courts, Legal Problems, Program Evaluation
Alaska Judicial Council, 1029 West Third Avenue, Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99501 (free).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: Alaska Judicial Council, Anchorage.
Identifiers - Location: Alaska
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Indian Child Welfare Act 1978