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Family-Centered Justice

FCJ

The purpose of Family-Centered Justice is to cultivate courts that center families and contribute to building strong communities where all families thrive.  

Families come to courts with varied experiences, backgrounds and access to resources. Courts that center families:

  • Avoid traumatizing or retraumatizing and help break intergenerational trauma cycles.
  • Effectively address families’ needs in the community.
  • Contributes to a positive perception of procedural fairness.
  • Achieve more timely and qualitatively better justice. Better outcomes for families.

What does Family Centered Justice look like?
  • Court processes and practices are informed by knowledge about the impact of trauma on families.
  • The court is an active and collaborative partner with the community and other child, family and justice serving agencies.
  • Courts work to ensure equitable outcomes for families regardless of race, ethnicity or economic status.
  • Courts ensure that there is a process for screening individuals and families who come the court’s attention for concurrent court cases, basic needs and behavioral health issues. This screening ensures that referrals to support services have been made when warranted and that the court process is tailored to the specific needs of each family.
We are interested in learning about Family-Centered Justice practices in your court.  Please take this brief survey to tell us about exciting efforts in your jurisdiction OR to let us know that you'd like to learn more about how to center families across case types.
Use this link to complete the Court Approaches to Triage (CAT) Scan

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Individuals come to courts with varied experiences, backgrounds and access to resources, but all individuals are part of a family. Courts that center the needs of families:

  • Collect and use case-level and aggregate information to tailor court processes and target resources.
  • Avoid traumatizing or retraumatizing individuals and help break intergenerational trauma cycles.
  • Actively partner with community members and other child, family, and justice serving agencies to effectively and equitably address families’ needs in the community.
  • Contribute to a positive perception of procedural fairness.

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