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NCJ Number: 170513 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Utah Legislation and Systems Change
Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:(November 1997)  Pages:25-41
Author(s): S P McCully; J B Haymond; M Springgate; B Howe
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Judges and legislators in Utah have worked together successfully to develop new ways to improve court systems and child welfare processes and thereby better serve children and families by reducing court delays and extended stays in foster care.
Abstract: A performance audit in the early 1990s revealed numerous deficiencies, including the lack of appropriate procedural safeguards, requirements; the removal of some children from their homes without adequate case assessment; and lack of attention to permanency planning for children in foster care. Utah Judge Sharon McCully's involvement in the development of national guidelines prompted her to join in a rapid reform effort in her Salt Lake City jurisdiction. State legislator Brent Haymond was also working on the same goals. The judge and legislator used the national recommendations to start building a multidisciplinary consensus on statewide reform efforts. Representative Haymond introduced the Child Welfare Reform Act during the 1994 Utah legislative session. Subsequent actions included changes in courts in response to the legislation, a concentrated effort to address the needs of the 700 children who had been in foster care beyond the goal for permanent placement, and further legislation in 1996 and 1997. The improvements were prompted by a lawsuit, but they represent systemic changes based on a vision for a process that protects the State's children in the least intrusive way while strictly protecting a family's right to maintain its autonomy. In addition, greater accountability and public awareness are continuing to produce process adjustments and improvements. 8 reference notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile court procedures
Index Term(s): Alternative court procedures; Child abuse situation remedies; Child placement services; Child welfare; Court delays; Court reform; Family courts; Foster homes; Juvenile dependency and neglect; State laws; Utah
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