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Trauma Audit and Site Visit Report: Allegheny County Children's Court Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Family Division

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2015
28 pages
This report describes the activities and impressions from a site visit to and trauma audit of the Allegheny County Children's Court (Children's Court) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This report is intended primarily to assist the Children's Court in its efforts to create trauma-responsive environments, practices, and policies that reflect research-based best practices. Prior to the site visits, the staff of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) conducted a pre-survey of Children's Court stakeholders. The survey results from 200 respondents are included in the impressions and recommendations of this report. During the 3-day audit, activities primarily involved observation of court facilities, building exterior and interior entrances, waiting areas, and several courtrooms. The audit team observed hearings and evaluated judicial engagement using a systematic court observation tool. The impressions reported from the audit address the court's physical environment, interactions with court system stakeholders, and findings of the online stakeholder survey. The 17 recommendations contained in this report are intended to assist the Children's Court in developing and implementing trauma-informed policies and practices. Next steps are reported for the audit team and the NCJFCJ in providing guidance and support to the Children's Court in these efforts. 1 table, 9 figures, and appended trauma survey summary report