ERIC Number: ED463340
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Adopting Reform: The Need for Change in America's Family Court and Foster-Care System and a Survey of Reform Efforts. Briefing.
As state governments realize that ignoring the child welfare status quo will victimize more children and increase state agencies' difficulties, they have begun implementing various reform ideas. Efforts to reform the family court system face many obstacles (turf battles among government agencies, inadequate numbers of attorneys, and lack of jurisdictional uniformity). Nonetheless, some significant state reforms are occurring, including expanding the jurisdiction of juvenile courts, streamlining motions and petitions, expediting appeals, and setting time limits on temporary foster care placements. States have been acting under existing law to transform virtually every aspect of family court as applied to foster care. Most jurisdictions are working to improve the quality of judicial personnel handling juvenile and foster care cases. Several states are emphasizing better use of technology to monitor compliance with state and federal laws, collect data, generate notices and orders, and schedule, track, and manage cases. Many jurisdictions are also addressing such issues as better communication and cooperation among different organizations and disciplines. A combination of better laws, more efficient delivery of social welfare services, expanded private sector role, improved court processes, and expanded community cooperation can protect endangered children, compassionately repair fractured homes, and quickly place children in permanent, loving homes. (Contains 475 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Accountability, Adoption, Child Welfare, Children, Federal Government, Federal Legislation, Foster Care, Juvenile Courts, Minority Group Children, Privatization, State Government, State Legislation, Welfare Reform
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pacific Research Inst. for Public Policy, San Francisco, CA.