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Permanency Planning for Abused and Neglected Children

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1997
2 pages
This Fact Sheet describes the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) most significant initiative in permanency planning for abused and neglected children, the Permanency Planning for Children Project developed by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).
This project provides National, State, and locally based training in the provisions of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act and related statutory requirements. Emphasis is given to the use of volunteer child advocates in juvenile and family courts. The term "Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) was coined to clarify the roles of attorneys and lay persons in juvenile proceedings. Currently, all States provide for the appointment of non-attorney guardians ad litem, who are screened and trained to serve as advocates for children and to advise the court about the child's best interests. The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association administers grant funds awarded by OJJDP under the Victims of Child Abuse Act in assisting States and local jurisdictions in establishing and expanding CASA programs. In addition to working with judges of juvenile and family courts, the Permanency Planning for Children Project provides training and technical assistance for each juvenile or family court social worker, police officer, attorney, CASA, or other child advocate to emphasize the importance of permanence to a young child. Project judges and staff developed an NCJFCJ publication entitled "Resource Guidelines - Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse & Neglect Cases" (1995). It is designed to improve judicial involvement in and the effectiveness of court permanency planning efforts. Other publications and technical assistance available from the project's library are listed.

Date Published: April 1, 1997