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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: abuse and neglect

Children who are in foster care face daunting challenges. They are generally traumatized by abuse and neglect and have to face their day-to-day lives with constant uncertainty. A Light of Hope Ceremony will be held at the Eighth Judicial District Family Court on Monday, Apr. 11 at noon, in courtroom 9, 601 N. Pecos Road that will offer enlightening information on  many ways that individuals can impact the life of an abused and neglected child. The special candle-lighting ceremony will illuminate the need for volunteers to advocate for the nearly 3,500 abused and neglected children who are receiving services under the supervision of Family Court. April is Child Abuse Prevention And Awareness Month and a great time to consider volunteering  as  a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to help the abused and neglected childdren in our community.

The focus this year is to make a difference in the lives of children in foster care. “I would like to call on college students, retirees, those who want to make a difference and have a little time to spare to attend one of the CASA information session and learn how they can really have a positive impact on a young life,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan, who oversees the CASA program. “By volunteering a just a few hours a week to serve as a CASA, volunteers can really make a positive impact on the life of a child.”

The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, child and family team meetings, and in court. Volunteering for the program involves a two-year commitment and a willingness to spend quality time with the children to advocate for them. In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court judges.

“Each time we swear in new CASA volunteers, we are grateful that they are willing to speak up for abused and neglected children. We are also reminded of how many more volunteers are needed to provide a voice for every child in foster care,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin.

For those interested in volunteering with CASA, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month to provide more information about the program. Upcoming orientations will be held at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas.

 

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The 25th Annual Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer Recognition Gala was an exceptional recognition event by all accounts. It was well planned, well attended and had all the elements that you could want to make volunteers feel appreciated. Many worthy people received recognition for volunteering to communicate the needs of kids in foster care. The highlight of the night however wasn’t the really good band, the food, or even the awards for the volunteers; it was the two young people who stood up in front of a huge room full of adults and shared their story of how their CASAs changed their lives and made them believe that anything was possible for them and that their future was bright. They showed without a doubt that volunteering a few hours a week can make a difference and can bring hope to a young person in need. They spoke as well as any seasoned speaker could and conveyed how much they gained from their CASA and how much they appreciated all that their CASA did for them. All of the CASA volunteers are appreciated. A few were selected to be recognized at the CASA Gala this year. It was CASA’s 25th Annual Gala and a “toast to the future.”

Thanks to these and all CASA volunteers who serve as a voice for some of our community’s most vulnerable children.

CASA Outstanding Caseworker Marlou Steele

CASA Foundation President’s Award recipient Bart Masi w/Wirtz Beverage

CASA Excellence Award Heather McCusker

Judge John J Mendoza CASA Child of Year Alexandra Lawrence

Adelson Scholarship winner Ryan Matt

CASA Outstanding Newcomers

  • Crystal Bomar
  • Alyssa Carothers
  • Kristen Cole
  • Erin Colegrove
  • Judy Colegrove
  • Janice Morton
  • Karen Rein
  • Kharisma Rodriquez

CASA Outstanding Service Award

  • Verise Campbell
  • Felicia Ceberio
  • David Desmarais
  • Ted Hartwell
  • Hilda Wagner

The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, family team meetings, and in court. Volunteering for the program involves a two-year commitment and a willingness to spend quality time with the children to advocate for them. In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court judges.

For those interested in volunteering with CASA, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month to provide more information about the program. Upcoming orientations will be held at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas.

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There are about 3,500 children in the foster care system. They face instability, uncertainty and challenges that make it very difficult for any young person to be successful. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) are able to provide a stabilizing force in their lives. As CASA celebrates 35 years of serving the community, the push is on to get more people to volunteer. The goal is to get a volunteer to be a voice for every foster child. The volunteers get so much in return.

In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. He saw a need that has continued to grow over the years. Thirty-five years later, 35 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) for youth in Foster Care have taken to the CASALasVegas Facebook page to share their personal stories of being a voice for kids in foster care and making a difference. Their stories make it clear that the volunteers end up coming out of the experience enriched and feeling that they really have made a difference.

The primary goal of CASA is to help children achieve permanence in a safe and loving home and to ensure that the children they speak for will have the opportunity for a bright future. For 35 years, the CASA program has recruited and trained volunteers to serve as a voice for children in foster care. There are many stories of success that have impacted the lives of the kids and their families. The stories posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CASALasVegas provide inspiration.

There are currently around 357 CASA volunteers serving as a voice for foster children in our community. Many more volunteers are needed to advocate for the nearly 3,500 children receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Last year, more than 900 children had a CASA volunteer to help them navigate through the system, and deal with school challenges and home life.

“The stories shared by the CASA volunteers show how one person can make a big difference in the life of a child,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan. I encourage people in the community to visit the CASALasVegas Facebook page to see the satisfaction volunteers receive and to consider volunteering as a CASA.”

The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports the volunteers who represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, family team meetings, and in court. Volunteering for the program involves a two-year commitment and a willingness to spend quality time with the children to advocate for them. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court judges.

“For 35 years, CASA has met a crucial need in our community. We thank those who have volunteered to serve as a voice for youth in foster care, and we encourage others to volunteer to help ensure a bright future for the more than 3,500 young people in need of a voice,” said Presiding Family Division Judge Charles Hoskin.

For those interested in volunteering with CASA, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month to provide more information about the program. Upcoming orientations will be held at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CASALasVegas. Follow CASA on Twitter at

https://twitter.com/casalasvegas.

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The Family Court Judges are implementing a 12-point plan that will meet the Eighth Judicial District Court goal of achieving timely permanency for children in the foster care system. That plan includes taking one Judge who hears a domestic caseload and assigning that judge to an abuse and neglect caseload. Now three judges hear abuse and neglect calendars fulltime. The departments that handle domestic cases are shouldering an average six percent heavier caseload to provide dedicated judges for foster care cases.

Late last year, Chief Judge Jennifer P. Togliatti issued an administrative order which established a special committee to examine access to justice in the dependency court by looking at court rules, court case management, case assignment, whether case processing delays are related to hearing master resources and duties as defined in EDCR 1.46, timeliness of trials and hearings, judicial resources, statistics and their definitions, statutory timeliness, trial stacks and other related matters. After a three-month review of the court’s approach to permanency for children and their families, the committee submitted a comprehensive report with 12 recommendations. Most critical was the examination of case assignment and judicial resources. The committee exhaustively reviewed the number and types of hearings in 2012.

The committee sought input from community partners. Three main issues were identified: the lack of use of bench cards for consistency; barriers to notification of appointment of counsel; and the slow, outdated method of sharing discovery (which contributed to frequent requests for continuances). The committee took immediate action and addressed barriers to information sharing for dependency cases. 

 The caseload and case assignment of juvenile dependency matters were examined. The protective custody hearing was noted as an extremely important hearing. It was determined that protective custody hearings associated with foster care, should only be heard by the dependency judges and one hearing master should be assigned to one judge. The judge should assign certain hearings to their designated masters to facilitate the case management of the case.

Several case processing delays were identified, the two most prominent: appointment of counsel and delay in receiving discovery. Case processing was re-engineered to use automation whenever possible. 

One of the critical issues facing this committee was the development of accurate statistics so they could make sound recommendations. The Eighth Judicial District Court Information Technology Division provided accurate, verifiable statistics. In addition, the IT division created a caseload report to assist in measuring statutory timelines. Scanners were installed in all the dependency courtrooms. Other new procedures were implemented including: preliminary protective hearing initiating process, case plan procedures, reasonable efforts procedures, and case initiation from petition procedures. These changes enable the tracking of timeliness.  “The Family Court judges have  unanimously agreed and rallied together to make this 12-point plan work to help children who need a stable, loving and permanent home, said Presiding Family Court Judge Gloria O’ Malley. “Streamlining case processing will improve outcomes for some of our community’s most vulnerable children and the case reassignment will enable the “one family – one judge” model for juvenile dependency cases.

“I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work accomplished by the committee chaired by Judge Arthur Ritchie and included Justice Nancy Saitta, Judge Charles Hoskin, Judge Frank Sullivan, Judge Robert Teuton, court executive officer Steve Grierson; assistant county manager Jeff Wells and the executive director of Legal Aid of Southern Nevada Barbara Buckley,” said Chief Judge Togliatti. “I would also like to acknowledge the cooperative spirit demonstrated by the Family Court Judges who worked together in order to make the needed case reassignment work.”

 

The foster care improvement demonstrates how the Eighth Judicial District Court is using technology and alternative, more efficient methods to improve the delivery of justice. District Court continuously works to develop innovative ideas, improve efficiencies, address issues and improve access to justice. For more information about the courts, please visit our website at clarkcountycourts.us.

 

 

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