NCJFCJ Vision: Serving as the Voice of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Maureen SheeranJudge KeyJudge KochNancy Miller

Pictured left to right:
Maureen Sheeran, Director, Family Violence Department
Hon. R. Michael Key, President
Hon. Dale Koch, Interim Executive Director and Past President
Nancy B. Miller, Director, Permanency Planning for Children Department

These leaders of the National Councl of Juvenile and Family Court Judges shared their vision of the organization's role in ensuring safety for children:

"As judges know too well, ensuring safe and just outcomes in juvenile and family court is not an easy task. That task is made more difficult still when families present with both child maltreatment and domestic violence. Yet, we know that bringing the promise of a safe, healthy, and nurturing life to all children requires that we embrace the full contexts of their lives.

At the National Council, we believe that the best interest of children is inextricably linked with the best interest of their families. In cases involving battering, protecting the battered parent and holding the offender accountable while resisting the temptation to focus primarily on removing the child from the situation allows us to protect relationships that sustain children throughout their lives. Fortunately, today, we know so much more about meaningfully crafting plans that do just that. Across the country, courts and communities are engaging with vulnerable, non-offending parents as resources, identifying the protective factors in their children’s lives.

We wholeheartedly believe that protection of battered mothers is an important child protection strategy. As this holistic view takes an even stronger hold, battered mothers will be viewed as partners in protection, allowing their children to safely remain with their families, rather than suffering the additional trauma of placement in foster care"

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