Significant time has been spent on improving child welfare courts and developing best practices and standards for court professionals and the court process. Few recommendations have been rigorously studied, however, leaving many questions about the structures and practices that impact child and family outcomes.
This report summarizes information about the types and ranges of measures developed to assess court, judicial, and attorney performance in child welfare cases and their impact on case outcomes. The authors focus on six main categories of measurement:
- Legal and judicial context
- Short-term outcomes that happen during hearings
- Intermediate outcomes that happen during the case
- Long-term outcomes that happen after case closure
- Cross-cutting themes
Findings about what is known—and current gaps—will inform the development of performance measures for the Judicial, Court, and Attorney Measures of Performance project funded by the Children’s Bureau. JBA supports the Capacity Building Center for Courts in completing that work.