CFCC Conducts Study on Implementing a Unified Family Court Pilot Initiative in Douglas County, Neb.
August 23, 2018
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
The University of Baltimore School of Law Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) is providing training, technical assistance, and guidance on a court improvement project in Douglas County, Neb., to evaluate the possibility of implementing a Unified Family Court pilot initiative. The study includes a review of court operations, site visits by CFCC to Nebraska, a stakeholders' survey and forum, and visits to Maryland family courts by Nebraska court officials.
CFCC Director Barbara A. Babb, Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger, and consultant Diane Nunn led the stakeholders' forum in Omaha on Aug. 13. The site visits to Maryland courts by the Nebraska delegation are coming up, Aug. 27-28. Maryland courts instituted five family divisions in its largest counties in 1998 to improve outcomes for families and children involved in court matters.
"The forum exceeded our expectations," Babb, a professor in the UB School of Law, said. "Nearly 80 people attended. They represented Douglas County, local and state court officials, and independent organizations providing services to families and children. We were thrilled to have Nebraska Chief Justice Michael Heavican involved. In our experience, judicial leadership is key in achieving transformational change in court systems. Seven breakout sessions also gave participants a voice and us a clear understanding of their interests and concerns."
The Nebraska delegation visiting Maryland will tour, observe, and meet with judges and administrators in the Baltimore City Family Division, Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, and Anne Arundel County Family Division. They also will meet with Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of the Maryland Court of Appeals, State Court Administrator Pamela Harris, and other court administrators.
CFCC has been a leader in family justice system reform since its founding in 2000. Prof. Babb is a frequent speaker at national and international levels on unified family courts and family law decision-making. Her scholarship focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to family law through the application of therapeutic jurisprudence and an ecological/holistic perspective.
Learn more about unified family courts.
Prof. Babb also serves as editor-in-chief of the Family Court Review, the scholarly journal of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
For more information on the Nebraska project or CFCC's other work, contact Barbara Babb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.837.5661.