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WHAT DOES THE CHILD PROTECTION CONNECTIONTM DO?


The Child Protection ConnectionTM (The "Connection") is a solution to prevent abused and at-risk children from being harmed by failures in the systems that are meant to protect them. The Connection can be used by judges, attorneys and other professionals in all court systems where children need to be protected, healed, or rehabilitated, including the child welfare court system, the juvenile justice system, the criminal court system, and more. Professionals across disciplines can connect to address case related issues or across state lines to dialogue and join efforts for systemic change.

For example, in child welfare cases, the most important decisions about an abused or neglected child's future are made in court; however, such crucial decisions - hampered by limited resources and inadequate legal representation - often result in devastating consequences for the child. Too often, children are returned to abusive homes or are subjected to unnecessarily long, unstable, and traumatic experiences in foster care, leaving them disconnected, alone, and unprepared for adulthood. Many of these children end up homeless, in the criminal justice system, or as continual victims of crime. Despite the efforts of professionals working tirelessly within these systems - the systems fail these professionals just as often as they do the children trapped in them. Through the Child Protection ConnectionTM, professionals across a state can share expertise and use an in-depth and comprehensive resource and communication center to improve case outcomes for all abused and at-risk children despite the lack of court funding and available resources and training. The Connection allows professionals to collaborate locally, regionally, and statewide to address system failures and bring about change at any and all levels.

HOW DO THESE SYSTEMS FAIL ABUSED & AT-RISK CHILDREN?

  • Constitutional rights of children are violated.
  • Unique needs of each child go unaddressed.
  • Children are placed at higher risk due to overwhelmed courts and inadequate legal representation.
  • Children cross over court systems with new legal issues and more trauma.
  • Children face irreparable harm from the systems designed to protect them.
  • Traumatized children are misdiagnosed and subjected to misuse/overuse of psychotropic medication.

HOW DO THESE SYSTEMS FAIL THE CHILDREN'S JUDGES & ATTORNEYS?

  • Judges face overwhelming dockets.
  • Judges lack the funding necessary to appoint attorneys and maintain case oversight.
  • Judges lack access to available community resources to meet childrens'/parents' needs.
  • Attorneys lack an adequate budget for case preparation.
  • Access to comprehensive training is limited.
  • Solo practitioners lack a support system and mentors.
  • Misguided policies and laws hinder attorneys from getting the best outcomes for children.

HOW DOES THE CONNECTION HELP PREVENT THESE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS?

  • Maximizes expertise and resources across the state.
  • Saves time and enhances judicial decision-making.
  • Improves the quality of legal representation and outcomes.
  • Builds collaborative communities to solve problems.
  • Breaks down silos across systems & disciplines.
  • Mobilizes professionals to change policies and laws to serve the best interests of children.
  • Expedites improved outcomes for abused and at-risk children.

The court system is often the last lifeline available to abused and at-risk children — deciding the fate of the child.

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