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The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges announces record $16.7 million in awards to assist children and families (sponsored)

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The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the nation’s oldest and largest judicial membership organization, announces that it received a record $16.7 million in awards and grants for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which includes 51 new and continuing awards. The NCJFCJ is dedicated to improving outcomes for children and families in courts across the country.

The mission of the 86-year-old organization is to provide all judges, courts, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice.

The $16.7 million in funding will support the NCJFCJ projects focused on issues in: domestic violence; child protection and custody; child welfare and foster care; military-connected families; dating violence; tribal and state court collaboration; sexual assault; domestic child sex trafficking; juvenile justice; trauma-informed justice; research and data; and more.

“The initiatives funded are critical to judicial education and training for judges and related professionals in the juvenile and family courts,” said Judge David B. Katz, NCJFCJ president. “As judicial leaders, we have an opportunity to advance the court system and convene the community to meet the needs of the children and families we serve.”

Highlighting the year, the NCJFCJ received a brand new funding award of $1 million over 36 months from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to support essential juvenile justice system reforms addressing the needs of justice-involved LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit youth. Up to 20 percent of the youth in America’s juvenile detention facilities identify as LGBT, questioning, or gender non-conforming — nearly three times the estimated number in the general population, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics data.

The NCJFCJ is partnering with the National Center for Youth with Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (The National SOGIE Center) to establish and maintain a new national resource center as a comprehensive hub on policies and best practices related to justice-involved LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit youth. Other national organizations will lend support and input, including the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, the Gault Center, and the Tribal Law and Policy Institute.
The center will provide robust, competent, and comprehensive training and technical assistance to a variety of justice and community-based stakeholders.
“This resource center and the multitude of projects that the NCJFCJ works on supports our membership and all courts, both state and tribal,” said Joey Orduña Hastings, CEO of the NCJFCJ. “This year’s record $16.7 million in awards reflects the expansive work we do to implement innovative practices in the complex and dynamic juvenile and family court system, giving judges, courts, and related agencies the knowledge and skills to improve outcomes for children and families.”

The NCJFCJ was awarded $2.8 million by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), to continue operating the Technical Assistance (TA) Provider Resource Center (TA2TA) and $1.4 million for comprehensive coordination of campus TA (TA2Campus). The resource center provides training and support to OVW recipients of Training and Technical Assistance Initiative funding which includes 80 organizations with approximately 190 OVW training and technical assistance projects focusing on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking issues. The resource center also maintains a directory, library, and calendar of OVW’s training and technical assistance opportunities and resources. 

The NCJFCJ received $450,000 from OVW to continue its efforts to support custody evaluators, guardians ad litems, and other evaluative professionals with training and technical assistance to improve their understanding and analysis of how domestic violence impacts parenting and the safety of children — supporting safer outcomes in custody cases where domestic violence is a factor. A portion of that funding is for training and support to communities and stakeholders implementing the “Revised Chapter Four of the Model Code” on Domestic and Family Violence, which was published by the NCJFCJ in December 2022 along with an accompanying toolkit.

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