Commission on Children in the Courts Hosted by the Court Improvement Project

Commission on Children in the Courts Hosted by the Court Improvement Project

The Court Improvement Project hosted the bi-annual meeting of the Supreme Court Commission on Children in the Courts at the Judicial Branch Education Facility in Lincoln on Friday, June 7, 2019.

The Honorable Doug Johnson, Douglas County Separate Juvenile Court, and the Honorable Francie Riedmann, Nebraska Court of Appeals, co-chair the commission and presided over the meeting.

In addition to the regular subcommittee updates and department reports, Sherri Haber, APS/CPS Administrator at State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), presented an overview of the Structured Decision-Making process used by DHHS in the intake and assessment processes.

Most of the afternoon was filled by small group discussions among commission members and other attendees addressing several topics including family and youth engagement, how to enhance and expand legal representation, the courts’ role in primary prevention, reasonable efforts for reunification or case closure, reasonable efforts for preventing removal, crossover youth, and making the shift from child rescue to family preservation. The discussions were facilitated by Stacey Obrecht, JD, from the Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for Courts. Court Improvement Project staff are tasked with compiling the results of the small group discussions and submitting them to commission members for review. The commission will advise on actionable items.

The meeting included regular reports from commission subcommittees, including the Unified Family Court Subcommittee, the Guardian ad Litem Subcommittee, the Case Progression Standards Subcommittee, the Education Subcommittee, the State-Tribal Relations Subcommittee, the Temporary Hearing Subcommittee, the Services Subcommittee, and the Guardianship Subcommittee. Department updates consisted of reports from the Court Improvement Project, Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education.


Photos taken during the small group discussion portion of the meeting