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Message ID: 9192
Date: 2012-06-15

Author:D F MCMAHON

Subject:RE: Reasonable Efforts data

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has actually weighed in on this concept, including suggestions that judges use the funding issues as an enforcement tool. Regarding data, I just stumbled on a link to an ABA Court Improvement Project reassessment for North Dakota, and google came up with what look like links for reassessment reports for other states. I am still reading the one for North Dakota. It does not include data. However, ND is currently working on their strategic plan and grant applications for future CIP funding. Response to a records request got a reply that since these are still working documents they are not available for public view yet. The ND CIP committee has been working on developing data collection for awhile. Unfortunately, I have never managed to locate any of their documents online and their minutes don't provide enough detail to know what to look for. In the past, the staff assigned to the committee has indicated most reports are verbal in nature. But all this suggests a possible avenue for data collection. The reassessment report notes that ND enacted statute to define reasonable efforts some years ago. The "definition" is fairly circular (basically says that the services must be reasonable). It also points to CFSR findings that services to parents was a "Needs Improvement" area. All this is somewhat hovering around the whole issue of preservation and reunification services--and around the critical legal tie-in between courts and agencies. Reviews and surveys seem to act as if there is an inherent Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle here, going at the issue sideways: was there a court ruling? But not asking what attempt there was made to establish the evidence on which the ruling was based. Seems slightly obvious that if the states are showing high level compliance with reasonable efforts statutory language in Title IV-E audits but not so high ("needs improvement") in the CFSR components linked to reasonable efforts--well, these should not be entirely apples and oranges, should they? Sheri McMahon The following is the google link to the ND reassassment report. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CE4QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fapps.americanbar.org%2Fchild%2Frclji%2Fcipreassessments%2Fnorthdakota.doc&ei=lnDXT8udJcLQ2wXgqcmOCw&usg=AFQjCNH-xvMgytdJGgOc_OqHIKQSLs-C0g&sig2=1aSYN4CHBambpoGlQodn8A ________________________________ From: NCCPR@aol.com Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:12:05 -0400 Subject: Re: Reasonable Efforts data To: child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu Our first report on child welfare in Michigan includes a summary of a survey of Michigan judges on this topic. Among the survey findings: 40 percent of the judges admitted that they checked the box on the relevant form stating that "reasonable efforts" had been made even when the judges believed this was not the case. In half of those instances, the judges said they did this because, under Michigan law, if the federal government didn't help pay for the placement (which it won't do in the absence of a "reasonable efforts" determination), the county would have to pick up that part of the cost. The survey is discussed on Page 33 of our report: http://www.nccpr.org/reports/michigan1976.pdf and Endnote #72 includes a link to the full survey. Richard Wexler Executive Director National Coalition for Child Protection Reform 53 Skyhill Road (Suite 202) Alexandria VA 22314 703-212-2006 www.nccpr.org In a message dated 6/11/2012 8:56:59 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, dfmcmahon1@msn.com writes: One possibility would be to contact public defender programs. Most are not going to have anything but possibly model programs have looked at this. Sheri McMahon ND ________________________________ Subject: Re: Reasonable Efforts data From: tzuel@umn.edu Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 10:53:14 -0500 To: child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu In Minnesota there have been rulings against CW agencies over the years but like Peggy said there is a lot of variation and interpretation issues across counties. Added to this is difference in RE under ICWA. With the high number of ICWA CW cases in the state it becomes very complex. I am reminded of a Cook County CW court study done over several years and there were big differences even within the same court system/county. Timothy B. Zuel, PhD Sent from IPhone On Jun 8, 2012, at 1:53 AM, Peggy Taylor > wrote: Rose, It's been several years, but I did some research on this and the only literature I could locate about reasonable efforts findings was in the legal literature. There were several interesting discussions of the legal issues, but I don't recall if there was data or not. Anecdotally, I have heard of very few instances of reasonable efforts rulings against the state or the private child welfare agencies in Kansas. There are considerable differences in CW practice among the judicial districts. And I suspect there are considerable differences in legal outcomes when families retain private counsel. But I don't know of any available data. On Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM, Rose Wentz > wrote: I am looking for data on how frequently judges rule against the child welfare agency on the reasonable efforts requirement. I would like to know both for RE to prevent removal and RE to provide reunification services. Does anyone know if there is a source or if someone has done an assessment on this? Overall data would be great but even better if there is information why the judge made the ruling. Thank you, Rose Wentz Rose@WentzTraining.com 206 579-8615

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has actually weighed in on this concept, including suggestions that judges use the funding issues as an enforcement tool. Regarding data, I just stumbled on a link to an ABA Court Improvement Project reassessment for North Dakota, and google came up with what look like links for reassessment reports for other states. I am still reading the one for North Dakota. It does not include data. However, ND is currently working on their strategic plan and grant applications for future CIP funding. Response to a records request got a reply that since these are still working documents they are not available for public view yet. The ND CIP committee has been working on developing data collection for awhile. Unfortunately, I have never managed to locate any of their documents online and their minutes don't provide enough detail to know what to look for. In the past, the staff assigned to the committee has indicated most reports are verbal in nature. But all this suggests a possible avenue for data collection. The reassessment report notes that ND enacted statute to define reasonable efforts some years ago. The "definition" is fairly circular (basically says that the services must be reasonable). It also points to CFSR findings that services to parents was a "Needs Improvement" area. All this is somewhat hovering around the whole issue of preservation and reunification services--and around the critical legal tie-in between courts and agencies. Reviews and surveys seem to act as if there is an inherent Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle here, going at the issue sideways: was there a court ruling? But not asking what attempt there was made to establish the evidence on which the ruling was based. Seems slightly obvious that if the states are showing high level compliance with reasonable efforts statutory language in Title IV-E audits but not so high ("needs improvement") in the CFSR components linked to reasonable efforts--well, these should not be entirely apples and oranges, should they? Sheri McMahon The following is the google link to the ND reassassment report. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CE4QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fapps.americanbar.org%2Fchild%2Frclji%2Fcipreassessments%2Fnorthdakota.doc&ei=lnDXT8udJcLQ2wXgqcmOCw&usg=AFQjCNH-xvMgytdJGgOc_OqHIKQSLs-C0g&sig2=1aSYN4CHBambpoGlQodn8A ________________________________ From: NCCPRaol.com Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:12:05 -0400 Subject: Re: Reasonable Efforts data To: child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu Our first report on child welfare in Michigan includes a summary of a survey of Michigan judges on this topic. Among the survey findings: 40 percent of the judges admitted that they checked the box on the relevant form stating that "reasonable efforts" had been made even when the judges believed this was not the case. In half of those instances, the judges said they did this because, under Michigan law, if the federal government didn't help pay for the placement (which it won't do in the absence of a "reasonable efforts" determination), the county would have to pick up that part of the cost. The survey is discussed on Page 33 of our report: http://www.nccpr.org/reports/michigan1976.pdf and Endnote #72 includes a link to the full survey. Richard Wexler Executive Director National Coalition for Child Protection Reform 53 Skyhill Road (Suite 202) Alexandria VA 22314 703-212-2006 www.nccpr.org In a message dated 6/11/2012 8:56:59 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, dfmcmahon1msn.com writes: One possibility would be to contact public defender programs. Most are not going to have anything but possibly model programs have looked at this. Sheri McMahon ND ________________________________ Subject: Re: Reasonable Efforts data From: tzuelumn.edu Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 10:53:14 -0500 To: child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu In Minnesota there have been rulings against CW agencies over the years but like Peggy said there is a lot of variation and interpretation issues across counties. Added to this is difference in RE under ICWA. With the high number of ICWA CW cases in the state it becomes very complex. I am reminded of a Cook County CW court study done over several years and there were big differences even within the same court system/county. Timothy B. Zuel, PhD Sent from IPhone On Jun 8, 2012, at 1:53 AM, Peggy Taylor > wrote: Rose, It's been several years, but I did some research on this and the only literature I could locate about reasonable efforts findings was in the legal literature. There were several interesting discussions of the legal issues, but I don't recall if there was data or not. Anecdotally, I have heard of very few instances of reasonable efforts rulings against the state or the private child welfare agencies in Kansas. There are considerable differences in CW practice among the judicial districts. And I suspect there are considerable differences in legal outcomes when families retain private counsel. But I don't know of any available data. On Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM, Rose Wentz > wrote: I am looking for data on how frequently judges rule against the child welfare agency on the reasonable efforts requirement. I would like to know both for RE to prevent removal and RE to provide reunification services. Does anyone know if there is a source or if someone has done an assessment on this? Overall data would be great but even better if there is information why the judge made the ruling. Thank you, Rose Wentz RoseWentzTraining.com 206 579-8615