The Judges' Page newsletter is published by the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
The Need for Trauma–Informed Dependency Courts
J. Dean Lewis, Judge (retired)
What is a trauma-informed dependency court? Why is it critical to positive outcomes for children and youth, families and caregivers, that those who participate in the dependency court systems be trained in trauma-informed care and implement trauma-informed policies, practices and services? How can judges and courts lead this effort?
Our authors will answer these questions in this issue of The Judges’ Page from the perspective of the judge, the attorney, the child and the CASA/GAL volunteer. They will provide you with research and training tools. They will share their experiences and encourage you to think of the dependency court from a totally different perspective.
Articles in This Issue
Trauma-Informed Courts and the Role of the Judge
Summary: The Chief Program Officer for Juvenile Law and the CEO of The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges share the importance of becoming a trauma-informed court and the role of NCJFCJ in providing training, technical assistance and research support to judges and courts.
Ominous Trends in Foster Care: Can Trauma-Informed Courts Improve Outcomes?
Summary: The CEO of the National CASA Association informs readers of recent increases in foster care placements in conjunction with increased trauma by children entering care and negative outcomes for children and youth. He explains that National CASA is providing trauma-informed advocacy training to volunteers and supports a system-wide approach to improving outcomes.
Making a Case for Why Trauma Isn’t Fading Away
Summary: Dr. Decker sets forth a blueprint for creating a trauma-informed court.
The Trauma-Informed Judge: Asking All the Right Questions
Summary: Judge Triggiano reveals the difference implementation of the “NCTSN Bench Card for the Trauma-Informed Judge” has made in her NCJFCJ Model Court cases.
Building Trauma-Informed Dependency Courts by Using the Web-Based Tool “Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources”
Summary: The authors explain the special needs of children who have been traumatized and share an exceptional teaching tool for understanding and addressing trauma from multiple perspectives.
Using a Trauma Lens
Summary: Judge Tepper makes the case for understanding and applying what science has documented to intervene effectively in cases involving trauma and adverse childhood experiences.
One Way of Being a More Trauma-Responsive Court
Summary: Judge Johnson and Ms. Quick share the important role of Finnegan, a certified therapy dog. In the courtroom, Finnegan creates a “stress free zone” for litigants. Through the eyes of a child, readers will understand the impact a therapy dog can have on reducing courtroom trauma.
The Unique Role of the CASA Volunteer: Hearing Things That Cannot Be Said
Summary: From her perspective as a CASA volunteer advocating for two children for five-plus years, Ms. Kasper will explain first hand the role of the CASA volunteer in providing the court critical information on the needs of traumatized children.
Understanding Trauma and Its Impact on Child Clients
Summary: Ms. Klain provides ABA policy as well as offering in depth research on the subject of trauma while sharing the critical role of attorneys in advocating for the needs of children and families they represent in the dependency court system.
© Copyright 2014, American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission from the ABA Center on Children and the Law. All rights reserved. This article is part of a series on trauma and children in the child welfare system and will be compiled into a forthcoming book. For more articles, visit www.childlawpractice.org
Peacemaking: An Ancient System with Modern Applications
Summary: Ms. Sweet describes the role of the Native American tradition of peacemaking in creating a justice system that is trauma-responsive.
The National CASA Network Responds to Advocates’ Need for Trauma-Informed Training
Summary: National CASA as well as state and local programs have provided trauma-informed advocacy training to CASA/GAL volunteers and staff in an effort to promote each child’s well-being and better address the needs of children in care. Mr. Piraino gives an overview of that training.
Summary: Linked publications provide further reading and more in-depth information on the subject of trauma-informed dependency courts.
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges took the lead in securing articles for this issue of The Judges’ Page and we thank the NCJFCJ staff for sharing their research and expertise in encouraging the creation of trauma-informed courts.
National CASA Association Reprint Policy
If an article published in The Judges' Page is reproduced, credit shall be given to the author(s) of the article, the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.