Background

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participate in the federal Court Improvement Program administered by the Children's Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant program was established in 1994 as a response to the dramatic increase in child abuse and neglect cases and the expanded role of courts in achieving stable, permanent homes for children in foster care. Under the original grants, the recipients completed a detailed self-assessment, developed recommendations to improve the juvenile court system and worked towards implementing the recommended reforms. The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001 reauthorized the Court Improvement Program through federal fiscal year 2006. The scope of the program is now expanded to (1) include improvements that recipients deem necessary to provide for the safety, well-being and permanence of children in foster care, as set forth in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA); and (2) implement a corrective action plan, as necessary, in response to findings identified in a child and family services review of the State's child welfare system. For more information on Court Improvement Programs nationally, please click here.

Pennsylvania's Court Improvement Program (CIP) is administered by the Office of Children & Families in the Courts within the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. The statewide implementation of the program has been ongoing since 2006.

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