Evaluations and Studies

Evaluations and Studies

Many studies have been conducted by Nebraska CIP on child welfare court process and activities related to the court process.  A selection of studies are published here:

 

Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse
Substance Abuse

The Nebraska Court Improvement Project and DHHS partnered together to access In Depth Technical Assistance (IDTA) from the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) regarding substance abuse in child welfare cases.  One of the projects completed under the IDTA project was a case file review conducted by the Nebraska Court Improvement Project with UNL-CCFL.  A random sample of 379 cases were pulled from all abuse and neglect cases opening in 2009.  

Major findings included:

56% of child welfare cases had substance abuse identified as an issue

85% of parents identified with substance abuse issues also had co-occurring mental health problems

40% of parents identified with substance abuse issues also had issues with domestic violence

25% of parents identified with substance abuse issues are never referred for asssessment or evaluation

More than 1/3 of parents with identified substance abuse issues received drug testing without any treatment


Read the full report: Substance Abuse Report 

 

Children Attending Court

Children Attending Court
Children Attending Court

In 2010 and 2011, UNL-CCFL and the Court Improvement Project conducted a study that assessed children's perceptions and attitudes about their involvement in the court process, and explored the impact of their participation in court hearings.

The study included children who participated in their court hearings as well as children who did not. Children were given an opportunity to provide some brief feedback on their thoughts and feelings, and representatives from CCFL also attended court hearings to observe the effect of the children's participation on the process. Within two weeks of each of the observed hearings, representatives from CCFL visited the children in their foster homes, where children completed a brief questionnaire about their experiences with the court system.

  • The study results were published in the April 2011 edition of Child Abuse & Neglect (Vol. 35, Issue 4). Read the article
  • The researchers who did this study also developed a set of recommendations for Nebraska judges. . 
  • Findings based on the study were presented at the 2009 Nebraska Children's Summit. Watch the video
  • The Lancaster County Juvenile Court has adopted a court rule on youth attendance at hearings. Read the court rule (Section E).

Study on Pre-Hearing Conferences

Study on Pre-Hearing Conferences
Study on Pre-Hearing Conferences

in 2008, the Nebraska Court Improvement Project conducted an informal study of the impact of initial Pre-Hearing Conferences (PHCs) on case progression timelines.  The purpose of the study was to determine if the use of PHCs reduces the time to adjudication, disposition and permanency.  Case progression data was collected from two types of court cases: those that were identified as having had PHCs and a random sample of cases that had not utilized PHCs.  These latter cases were typically within a year before the county initiated PHCs.

The counties involved in the study were Adams, Clay, Dawson, Fillmore, Madison, Nuckolls, Seward, Webster and Scottsbluff.


For more information about Pre-Hearing Conferences, go to the Mediation and Facilitation webpage | Click here to view results of the study.