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Family Court
News: Family Court

Juvenile Justice Reform Falls Short of Goals

The Close to Home initiative was supposed to move detained kids to less restrictive settings and improve their ability to complete their education. That hasn't happened.

Child Welfare Head: Family Court Crunch Escapes Pols' Notice

In an interview with City Limits, Administration for Children's Services Commissioner Ronald Richter says of the scarce resources in Family Court: “Our issues are often not popular. It takes a lot of effort to draw politicians’ attention.”

From Mom to Not in Seven Minutes: Inside Family Court

City Limits spent months observing Family Court and found an overburdened system where delays were endemic, legal help was scarce and the approach to solving family problems was divided. This is the first chapter in our report.

When Delays Dominate, Kids Lose

Chapter two of our Family Court investigation focuses on the courtrooms that handle custody and child support, where many people try to navigate complex legal lingo without a lawyer, and where running out the clock can be a weapon in warfare between parents.

Blurred Lines Between Advocates and Adversaries

All parties in Family Court are supposed to be fighting for the welfare of the child. But chapter 3 of our Family Court investigation finds that in the adversarial format of a courtroom, players sometimes take on conflicting roles.

Juvenile Justice System Excludes Many Youthful Wrongdoers

New York's juvenile justice system is the target of reform efforts. But to some critics, it's the fact that New York State tries so many teens outside of juvenile court that most needs reform. Chapter 4 in our Family Court investigation.

React, Reform, Repeat: A Round of Change Faces Family Court

In chapter 5 of our investigation of New York City Family Court, we look at past reform efforts and survey judges, lawyers, advocates and parents on how they think the system could be improved.

A Separate System With Special Rules

A lower threshold for judgment, different standards of evidence, a shift in the burden of proof and no Fifth Amendment protection—these and other features of Family Court set it apart from the rest of the legal system.

'Kinship' Approach Shows Promise

New York recently began trying to get more children who were removed from their homes placed in guardianship relationships with other relatives. While there are potential pitfalls, the approach can save time and money.

Q&A with Family Court’s Top Judge

A conversation with Edwina Richardson-Mendelson a one-time lawyer and then a courtroom judge in Family Court who now oversees the city's system.

New Child Welfare Head Faces Mountain of Challenges

Ronald Richter just got what the mayor calls a "thankless" job—running the Administration for Children's Services. We asked ACS's sometime allies and frequent critics in the advocacy world what Richter's chief challenges will be.

Concerns Persist Over Child Welfare Cases Involving Mental Health

As many as one in five child welfare cases involves a parent with a mental health diagnosis, creating challenges for parents, children and caseworkers. Advocates say efforts to address those challenges haven't gone far enough.

Human Factor Looms Large In ACS System

The recent indictment of two ACS workers in a little girl's death has focused new attention on the city's child protection regime. In this interview, City Limits' Helen Zelon explains how legal process and human nature interact in the child welfare system.

Child Welfare Changes Stir Hopes, Fears

Service providers like that the city is moving away from group homes and institutional foster care. But they wonder if the money and policies are in place to make the changes work.

Help For Immigrant Youth

A green card is one of many benefits open to undocumented immigrant kids in foster care if only authorities would apply for them.

Foster Kids To Get A Home
In One Year, City Says

A research report explains why NYC foster children languish so long without 'permanency.' Children's Services backs the findings and promises change.

Court-ing Capacity
To Keep Up With Cases

Those with matters before Family Court and those who work there are hoping the state will grant this overburdened system more judges.

What Stands Between A
Child And A Lasting Family

A study is underway that looks at how to lower the barriers to securing permanent homes for children in the foster care system.

The City's Latest
Hirings and Retirings

Is the Obama administration causing a New York brain drain?...a fresh face at the New York Urban League...MAS is now headed by a "starchitect"...and more.

City's Proud of Millions
More For Child Support

Collections rose for the 14th straight year amidst a variety of innovations -- and ongoing policy questions about child care subsidies and a special tax credit.


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For children stuck in New York State's child welfare system, New York has one of the worst outcomes for re-uniting families, placing children in safer adoptive homes, and trying 16- and 17-year-old offenders in criminal court.

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EVENTS

Story by Story

Thursday, October 23, 2014
:p - 9:00p

Risky Talking with Kimberle Williams Crenshaw and Eve Ensler

Friday, October 24, 2014
7:00p - 9:00p

Foundation Center's Open House

Wednesday, November 05, 2014
09:00a - 05:00p

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CONVERSATIONS/OPINONS

Does Poverty Cause Child Abuse?

By Dawn Post

Does Poverty Cause Child Abuse?

Poor parents are no more likely to hurt or neglect their kids, the author argues. They're just more likely to be punished for failings both real and imagined.

Custody Battle Delays Mean Kids Grow Up in Family Court

By Dawn Post

Custody Battle Delays Mean Kids Grow Up in Family Court

A shortage of judges means some children and their families spend years in the system, exacerbating whatever problems brought them there in the first place.

Family Court's Need is Absent from the Ballot

By Ben Krull

Family Court's Need is Absent from the Ballot

Come Election Day, voters will decide whether to raise the retirement age of judges to deal with civil and criminal court backlogs. But nothing is being done for Family Court, which oversees New York's most vulnerable.

Juvenile Justice Reform Leaves Teens Behind

By Alexandra Cox

Juvenile Justice Reform Leaves Teens Behind

New York stands virtually alone among states in allowing teenagers to be tried as adults and sentenced to adult prisons. Amid a wave of juvenile justice improvements, these children seem to have been forgotten.

Who Cares About New York’s Teen Fathers?

By Brooke Richie-Babbage

Who Cares About New York’s Teen Fathers?

The city's teenaged dads can make a huge difference in the lives of their kids. Yet they are forced to navigate Family Court with little guidance, and must deal with agencies and jurists who know next to nothing about them.

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MULTIMEDIA

Quarterly Housing Update, New York City

The Ouarterly Housing Update, published by NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, provides up-to-date information on trends in the New York City housing market.

For Their Own Good

Hundreds of teens are in jail for crimes for which adult offenders would walk. Can the Probation Dept. reform its ways?

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