Project

Understanding Judicial Decision-Making and Hearing Quality in Child Welfare

about the project

Topics

Capabilities

Status

Client

Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and Children's Bureau; Administration for Children and Families

Juvenile and family court judges are responsible for deciding when children enter and exit out-of-home care and for ensuring children in the system achieve safety, permanency, and well-being.

While some research has been conducted on hearing quality, questions remain about how to support effective judicial decision-making and improve outcomes for children and families. This project will deepen our understanding of judicial decision-making and hearings during the life of a child welfare case, including factors associated with quality and influences on case planning and outcomes.

The project is divided into three phases:

  • Knowledge review, including development of a conceptual model of judicial decision-making and hearing quality and a compendium of measures and data sources
  • Study design, including pretesting and feasibility study activities
  • Study implementation, including full implementation of the selected research design in a sample of child welfare courts

Research briefs and presentations will be developed throughout each phase to disseminate knowledge and study findings.

Staff

  • Anne Fromknecht, M.P.H. Senior Research Associate

    Anne Fromknecht has more than 11 years of experience in applied social science, evaluation, and technical assistance. Her technical skills include project...

  • James P. DeSantis, Ph.D. Vice President

    James P. DeSantis has more than 28 years of research, program design, evaluation, technical assistance, and project management experience. His subject expertise...

  • Tammy Richards, M.Ed. Senior Research Associate

    Tammy Richards has 20 years of experience in program evaluation, applied social science research, evaluation training, and technical assistance. Her expertise...

  • Joelle Ruben, M.S.W. Senior Communications Associate

    Joelle Ruben has more than 14 years of experience working on child and family issues in a variety of communications, policy, advocacy, and direct service...

Partners

American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law

Dr. Sophia Gatowski and Dr. Alicia Summers, Coprincipal Investigators

about the project

Topics

Capabilities

Status

Client

Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and Children's Bureau; Administration for Children and Families