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Court Performance Measures in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases: Technical Guide

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2009
310 pages
This toolkit provides practical and comprehensive guidance in measuring court performance in child abuse and neglect cases, measuring the effects of activities performed and determining what works and what does not work.
Developing objective and qualitative measurements of practice is essential to a court’s capacity to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations and to sustain those improvements. Juvenile and family courts must focus not only on the timeliness of case processing and decisionmaking, but also on the quality of the process and the outcomes resulting from the court’s efforts. Performance measurement makes it possible for courts to diagnose and assess areas in need of improvement and review progress in those areas. The purpose of the measures identified in this toolkit is to help courts establish their baseline practices; diagnose what they need to improve; and use that information to make improvements, track their efforts, and identify, document, and replicate positive results. The toolkit presents 30 measures for which data can be captured, and where courts will be able to evaluate 4 areas of operation: child safety, child permanency, due process or fairness, and timeliness. In addition to providing detailed guidance about court performance measures for child abuse and neglect cases, the toolkit offers a general approach that can help dependency courts successfully implement a performance measurement process. Samples and appendixes A-D

Date Published: April 1, 2009