Children's Roundtable Initiative
Pennsylvania's Roundtables for Children Initiative was implemented in 2007 to create a statewide infrastructure for effective administration and communication via a three-tier system.
The three tiers include local Children's Roundtables in each of the state's 60 judicial districts, seven statewide Leadership Roundtables and one State Roundtable. This three-tiered system of Roundtables provides the overarching structure for Pennsylvania's Court Improvement Program. Pennsylvania uses the Roundtable model to guide the flow of dependency practice and the collaboration between the Dependency Courts, OCFC, The Department of Human Services Office of Children, Youth and Families (DHS/OCYF) and other relevant stakeholders.
Such a structure enables Pennsylvania to be responsive to the common needs of the state, while at the same time allowing flexibility for each judicial district to function in a way that best meets its individual needs. The flow of information and communication occurs both from the top down and the bottom up. This ensures that a mutual understanding and collaboration of permanency efforts exist for all Pennsylvania agencies and court-involved children.
Overall, the system moves Pennsylvania forward in a consistent, uniform and informed manner as it endeavors to address permanence, safety and well-being for all children in the dependency system. This organizational structure contributes to a free flow of ideas, challenges and solutions, from Children's Roundtables to Leadership Roundtables to the State Roundtable and back again.