February 09, 2018

Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Help Improve Courts’ Handling of Child Welfare Cases

WASHINGTON - Senator Maggie Hassan cosponsored the bipartisan Continuation of Useful Resources To States (COURTS) Act to extend and permanently fund the Court Improvement Program (CIP) and provide much-needed support to courts handling child welfare cases. The COURTS Act was first introduced by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).

 

“Granite Staters and all Americans depend on a fair and efficient justice system, including courts that can handle child welfare cases with the urgency they require,” Senator Hassan said. “The bipartisan COURTS Act will help ensure that the best interests of children are being met through the Court Improvement Program, and I look forward to working with Senator Cornyn and other colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important legislation.”

 

This COURTS Act extends and permanently funds the Court Improvement Program, which provides grants to the highest court in any state operating a Title IV-E child welfare program. These formula grants provide additional resources that allow courts to make improvements in their handling of child welfare-related proceedings. Children across the country have benefited from this funding, as courts have been able to improve and expedite the processing of child abuse and neglect cases with the goal of placing children in permanent and safe homes and improving outcomes for children and families.

 

These grants are designed to:

 

  • Train judges, attorneys, and legal personnel in handling of child welfare cases;
  • Increase timeliness of court decisions regarding the safety, permanence, and well-being of children (through collection and analysis of relevant data); and
  • Improve engagement of families in court proceedings related to child welfare generally, including proceedings concerning family preservation, reunification, or adoption.

 

CLICK HERE to read a letter in support of the COURTS Act from the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators and CLICK HERE to read their accompanying resolution.

 

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