Louisiana Supreme Court - 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 | Tel: 504-310-2300 Hon. Bernette J. Johnson. Chief Justice.  John Tarlton Olivier., Clerk of Court.  Sandra A. Vujnovich. Judicial Administrator
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 Children and Families -- Court Improvement Program (CIP)

Louisiana Court Improvement Program: Achieving Permanency for Children

The Louisiana Court Improvement Program, a federally funded initiative, serves the best interests of the more than 4,000 children who on any given day are in the Louisiana foster care system by working with judges, court administrators and staff, attorneys, Court Appointed Special Advocates and other child welfare stakeholders on the successful implementation of the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and the concomitant Louisiana law.


Court Improvement Program efforts focus on:

  • Protecting rights of the parties, while determining the best interests of the child
  • Avoiding unnecessary separation of children and their families
  • Reasonable efforts to enable a child's return to the family, if removed
  • When reunification is not possible, ascertaining the availability of alternative permanent homes for children
  • Timely decision-making at court hearings
  • Providing safety and permanence in the life of a child
  • Acceptance of the judge's leadership role

Connections for Permanency Final Report (August 2007)


Permanency for Children Through Mediation

The Court Improvement Program is piloting the use of mediation in Child in Need of Care cases in Orleans Parish Juvenile Court and Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court This pilot, the Child Advocacy Mediation Program, is now in its third year and has served over 100 families in two of Louisiana 's most populous parishes. Nationwide research and data from established mediation programs indicate that mediated cases: 

  • Shorten an abused or neglected child's average length of stay in the foster care system
  • Result in greater compliance with case plans by enhancing parents' sense of involvement in decision-making
  • Extended family members are more likely to participate in a case
  • Are more likely to result in a permanent plan for the child that will avoid the child's return to the foster care system
  • Result in cost savings to the entire child welfare system


"Together We Can" Conference

The Court Improvement Program co-sponsors with the Louisiana Department of Social Services/Office of Community Services a multi-disciplinary conference each year in Lafayette . This conference examines important issues affecting the lives of abused and neglected children. Topics and workshops included ASFA compliance, cross-cultural sensitivity, federal and state law updates and other relevant issues.



Integrated Juvenile Justice Information System-Child in Need of Care

The Court Improvement Program is developing a web-based case management and database information system for use by courts statewide. When completed, this computer system will allow courts to better manage their Child in Need of Care caseloads to ensure that permanence is obtained for children in the most expeditious manner, while maintaing quality outcomes for kids.


Strategic Plan - The Louisiana Court Improvement Program/Children's Advocacy Resource Effort - October 1, 2002 - September 30, 2006

Model order/judgment forms for CINC cases
Continued custody hearing

Continued custody order for delinquency/FINS cases
Appearance to answer
Case Review
Permanent living arrangement
Relative placement

Other items of interest:

CIP Model Local Rules

Issuing/Notice Requirements checklist


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Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Clerk of Court's Office (504) 310-2300
Judicial Administrator's Office (504) 310-2550
Law Library of Louisiana (504) 310-2400
Email: webmaster@lasc.org

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