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Administrative Office of Courts
300 Dexter Ave.
Montgomery, Al 36104
1-866-954-9411
(334) 954-5000

Court Improvement


Court Improvement Program (CIP) Training Grant

The following activities have been conducted through this Grant:

  1. New Judge Orientation

    Training has been provided to new juvenile and family court judges.

     

  2. Juvenile Dependency Caseflow Management Workshops

    Five Juvenile Dependency Caseflow Workshops have been conducted for 32 counties. Each county has a team generally consisting of a juvenile court judge, the person who primarily dockets juvenile dependency cases, a Department of Human Resources (DHR) director and his or her designee, and a DHR attorney. The general outcome to be achieved with these workshops is to have better caseflow management practices in the counties receiving training.

    Two Juvenile Dependency Caseflow Reunion Workshops have been conducted for 17 counties with another Workshop planned for the remaining 13 counties. The purpose of these Workshops is to bring the county teams back together to hear the progress made in caseflow management in their counties.



Basic Court Improvement Program (CIP) Grant

The Basic CIP grant is a federally-funded program that has been administered in the AOC since 1995. The goal of the grant is to streamline juvenile court procedures and processes so that children adjudicated dependent may be placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.  The primary activities of the Grant include the following:

 

  1. Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Initiatives

    Two court rules were amended to expedite termination of parental rights cases. One rule was amended to provide that a TPR order must be issued within 30 days after a trial. The other rule was amended to provide that TPR trials must be given priority over all other nonjury trials.

     

  2. Probate/Juvenile Judge Subcommittee

    This Subcommittee was formed to bring juvenile court judges and probate court judges and other stakeholders together to discuss issues that may arise in processing adoption cases. The major issues discussed were information sharing and better communications between the two courts.

     

  3. Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Certification and Recertification Training

    Since 2004, the staff of the AOC has conducted GAL certification and recertification training in order to fulfill a federal law requirement that all guardians ad litem must be trained as to their role.

    In order for the attorneys who are placed on the GAL appointment list to remain certified, the attorneys are required to obtain an additional 2 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit covering updates of juvenile dependency and/or TPR law and/or topics which will assist them in their GAL practice.

     

  4. Activities with State Department of Human Resources (DHR)

    The AOC staff works with staff of the State DHR regarding quality assurance issues, the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), and the Title IV-E eligibility review.

     

  5. Assessment of the Alabama Juvenile and Family Courts

    The AOC staff is continuing to conduct an assessment of juvenile and family courts’ handling of dependency and TPR cases by means of reviewing a random sample of court files, surveying stakeholders, and, in some counties, observing court hearings.

     

  6. 3 Model Juvenile Courts (Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and Lauderdale Counties)

    Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and Lauderdale Counties were selected to be part of the dependency model court project. Coordinators in each of the counties assist the courts in docketing dependency and TPR cases; ensuring that notice to parties of hearings is given; making sure continuances in these cases are at a minimum; keeping statistics on timeliness of hearings; and collecting other information.



CIP Data Collection Grant

In September 2006, the AOC, through the Family Court Division, received a grant from the federal government primarily to be utilized for for data collection and analysis, to help ensure that foster children's needs for safety, permanency and well-being are met in a timely and complete manner.

 

  • Update and revision of current data collection methods

    Update of current SJIS mainframe and revision of charge codes, court action, disposition codes and petition statements.

     

  • Developing cross system collaboration between existing state systems

    An automated interface between DHR and AOC for an easy exchange of information and to encourage effective data sharing and effective collaboration

     

  • Developing and implement enhancements to the Juvenile MIS

    Development of “JUPITIR” intake management system

     

  • Develop an “alert” system to ensure that timelines for dependency cases are compliant with federal and state statutes.

    The alert system, which automatically notifies court officials of upcoming time Standards, is in place in 4 counties as of 01/01/08