Authors' Note: The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges wishes to acknowledge that this material is made possible by Cooperative Agreement No. 2009-MU-MU-K001 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
Improving Juvenile Dependency Case Timeliness Through Use of the One Family, One Judge Model
Article first published online: 26 FEB 2013
© 2013 National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Juvenile and Family Court Journal
Volume 64, Issue 1, pages 23–34, Winter 2013
How to Cite
Summers, A. and Shdaimah, C. (2013), Improving Juvenile Dependency Case Timeliness Through Use of the One Family, One Judge Model. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 64: 23–34. doi: 10.1111/jfcj.12001
- Issue published online: 26 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 26 FEB 2013
Motivated by the timelines set forth by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, courts are working toward moving cases safely and expeditiously through the juvenile dependency court system. One strategy to improve timeliness is the implementation of a one family, one judge (OFOJ) model. This study examines the effects of OFOJ implementation on timeliness of case processing. Implementation of the OFOJ model showed a trend toward improved timeliness. Post-OFOJ cases were quicker to reach case closure than pre-OFOJ cases. Every additional judge on the case increased time to permanency (i.e., case closure) by 31 days, which means children are spending one additional month in care per judge. Resolving cases quicker could improve the courts' ability to meet statutory timelines, and could lead to better outcomes for children and families.