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  • Building a Better Collaboration

    Facilitating Change in the Court and Child Welfare System

    National

    Council of Juvenile and Family Court

    Judges

    Technical Assistance Bulletin

    Volume VIII Number 2

    April 2004

  • Technical Assistance Bulletin is a publication of the Permanency Planning for Children Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The document was funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation or the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Reproduction of this publication for non-commercial education and information purposes is encouraged. Reproduction of any part of this publication must include copyright notice and attribution to: Dobbin, S.A., Gatowski, S.I., & Maxwell, D.M. (2004). Building a Better Collaboration: Facilitating Change in the Court and Child Welfare Sytem, Technical Assistance Bulletin, Vol. 8(2). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Reno, NV. 2004, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. All rights reserved.

  • Building a Better

    Collaboration

    Facilitating Change in the Court and Child Welfare System

    Shirley A. Dobbin, Ph.D. Assistant Director, Research and Development Division Sophia I. Gatowski, Ph.D. Assistant Director, Research and Development Division Dionne M. Maxwell, Ph.D. Associate Research Specialist Permanency Planning for Children Department National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

    Mary V. Mentaberry, Director Permanency Planning for Children Department

    National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

    Honorable David B. Mitchell, Executive Director National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

    National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

    P.O. Box 8970, Reno, NV 89507

  • NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURT JUDGES PERMANENCY PLANNING FOR CHILDREN DEPARTMENT

    PROJECT STAFF

    Shirley A. Dobbin, Ph.D. Assistant Director

    Research and Development Division

    Melissa M. Litchfield Assistant Research Specialist

    Jason A. Oetjen

    Staff Research Specialist

    Sophia I. Gatowski, Ph.D. Assistant Director

    Research and Development Division

    Dionne M. Maxwell, Ph.D. Associate Research Specialist

    Rochelle A. Fahlgren

    Administrative Assistant

    Mary V. Mentaberry Director

    Cheryl Davidek

    Assistant Director for Administration

    For information about this project, please contact:

    Permanency Planning for Children Department National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

    P.O. Box 8970 Reno, NV 89507

    Tel: (775) 327-5300 Fax: (775) 327-5306

    E-mail: ppcd@ncjfcj.org

    For more information about the Permanency Planning for Children Department, please see www.pppncjfcj.org

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This project could not have been possible without the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Through its support of this project, as well as the funding provided to support an earlier project to develop court performance standards in child protection cases, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to improving outcomes for the nations abused and neglected children. The Permanency Planning for Children Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges sincerely appreciates the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and their ongoing efforts to improve outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system. This research would not have been possible without the assistance of hundreds of system professionals in the six project sites. The project staff would like to thank each of the system professionals who took the time to meet with us, participate in interviews and focus groups, and share their experiences, thoughts, and advice on the process of systems change. We would especially like to thank each of the Model Court Project Site Lead Judges who shared their leadership and systems change experiences, frustrations, challenges, and accomplishments with us and who provided the necessary level of leadership, support, and guidance in our work in each of their jurisdictions.

    Alexandria Model Court, Honorable Stephen Rideout, Lead Judge Buffalo Model Court, Honorable Sharon Townsend, (Former) Lead Judge Charlotte Model Court, Honorable Louis Trosch, Lead Judge Cincinnati Model Court, Honorable Thomas Lipps, Lead Judge Cincinnati Model Court, Honorable David Grossmann, (Former) Lead Judge Cincinnati Model Court, Honorable Carla Guenthner, Lead Magistrate Los Angeles Model Court, Honorable Michael Nash, Lead Judge San Jose Model Court, Honorable Leonard Edwards, Lead Judge

    The process of systems change is a daunting and challenging task. In each of the Project Sites research staff had the privilege to meet with, interview, and observe committed professionals from throughout the child welfare system who have dedicated their professional lives to improving system outcomes for vulnerable children and families in their respective communities. Their commitment is commendable and serves to inspire us all.

  • Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction .................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 2: The Victims Act Model Courts Project and the Packard Project........................................ 5

    The Victims Act Model Courts Project................................................................................ 5 The Packard Project .......................................................................................................... 5 Site Selection..................................................................................................................... 5 Data Collection Procedures.............................................................................................. 6 Analysis ............................................................................................................................. 8 Chapter 3: A Framework for Systems Change: The Law, The Best Practices, and The Theory ........... 11

    The Law: The Adoption and Safe Families Act and Court Oversight................................ 11 The Best Practices: The Key Principles of Permanency Planning1.................................... 11 The Best Practices: The RESOURCE GUIDELINES and a Culture of Problem-Solving ...................................................................................................... 12 The Best Practices: The Model Courts A Model for Systems Change ............................ 13 The Theory: Understanding Court-Agency-Community Collaboration

    as Learning Organizations............................................................................................ 14 Some Core Philosophies as a Starting Point........................................................ 15 Key Features of a Learning Organization ........................................................... 15

    Systems Thinking .................................................................................... 16 Shared Vision ......................................................................................... 18 Personal Mastery.................................................................................... 18 Mental Models....................................................................................... 19 Team Learning ...................................................................................... 21

    Creating a Learning Organization: Common Core Themes Across Project Sites ......................................................................................... 22 Creating a Learning Organization: Identifying Facilitating Factors Across Project Sites ......................................................................................... 22 A Note on Diversity and the Learning Organization ........................................... 24

    Chapter 4: Effective Leadership to Support Systems Change ......................................................... 27

    What are the Components of Effective Leadership to Facilitate and Support Systems Change? ........................................................................................................ 27

    Leader as Designer ........................................................................................... 27 Leader as Steward............................................................................................. 27 Leader as Teacher ............................................................................................ 28

    Models of Leadership ..................................................................................................... 29 Judge as Leader............................................................................................................. 31

    Shared Leadership ............................................................................................ 33 Sharing Leadership / Sharing Power ................................................................... 34

    Challenges of Leadership: Understanding the Importance of Management vs. Leadership .................................................................................................................... 37 Challenges of Leadership: Limited Time to Make Meaningful Change .......................... 39