NCJFCJ Announces Record $14.9 Million in Awards to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families

Key focuses on domestic violence, abuse and neglect, opioids and substance use, juvenile justice, and research

(Reno, Nev.) – The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) announced today that it received a record $14.9 million spanning 45 new and continuing awards for the 2019-2020 fiscal year; the highest amount in the organization’s 83-year history. The NCJFCJ is devoted to ensuring justice and improving outcomes for families and children in courts nationwide.

The NCJFCJ is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization, providing judges with ongoing education, training, and technical assistance to make the best possible decisions for children and families in our courts.

The $14.9 million in funding will support NCJFCJ projects focused on a multitude of areas that include: domestic violence; child protection and custody; child welfare and foster care; opioids and substance use; tribal and state courts collaboration; sexual assault; domestic child sex trafficking; juvenile justice; trauma-informed justice; research and data; and more.

“The variety of diverse projects and initiatives funded this year reflect the expansive work the NCJFCJ does for juvenile and family courts nationwide,” said Judge Ramona A. Gonzalez, NCJFCJ president. “The NCJFCJ continues to be at the forefront and remains proactive in addressing the multitude of issues that affect the lives of children, families, and those affected by violence.”

This year, NCJFCJ received a $900k grant from the NoVo Foundation to support systems-based solutions to commercial sexual exploitation. This funding will assist NCJFCJ’s project to identify and promote promising practices in juvenile and family courts to address child sex trafficking. The NCJFCJ is excited to continue its partnership with the State Justice Institute on projects expanding the national implementation of the Enhanced Juvenile Justice Guidelines and issues facing children and military-connected families in courts.

Additionally, through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the NCJFCJ’s program on child abuse training and court personnel was expanded to address the national opioid epidemic in child welfare. The NCJFCJ’s National Center for Juvenile Justice, based in Pittsburgh, received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice to advance the National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Program by turning complex statistical and research data into information that can be easily accessed and put to immediate use by the juvenile justice field and the public.

The NCJFCJ also received continuing funds for its Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody program. The resource center plans to expand the capacity of the domestic violence field including family violence prevention services grantees and survivors to effectively address the implications of domestic violence in child protection, child support, and custody systems. In addition, the NCJFCJ will continue its collaboration between state and tribal courts on the implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a project with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to address judicial response in court cases related to animal cruelty, and its Judicial Engagement Network, which focuses on improving community, judicial, and court response to domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

“There has never been a more critical time for an independent and educated judiciary,” said Joey Orduna Hastings, NCJFCJ chief executive officer. “This year’s record-setting $14.9 million in awards enables us to further our mission in juvenile, family and domestic violence issues. Our work with long-standing partners and growing membership is the catalyst to healthier communities, assisting the children and families that our judiciary serves.”

About the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ):

Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nev.-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization and focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.

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