Based on the most recent federal report on children in foster care, half of children entering foster care are age 5 and under and 39% are three and under.
The following information (in quotes) is from the ZERO TO THREE Website on Safe Babies Court Teams and additional information is available at: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/services/safe-babies-court-teams.
“ZERO TO THREE created the Safe Babies Court Teams Project, rooted in developmental science, which aims to:
1. increase awareness among those who work with maltreated infants and toddlers about the negative impact of abuse and neglect on very young children; and,
2. change local systems to improve outcomes and prevent future court involvement in the lives of very young children.
Safe Babies Court Teams are changing the trajectory for infants and toddlers in foster care. Families are embraced by a team and given targeted and timely services. The adults feel valued as individuals and as parents while they learn how to support the healthy development of their children. Results show that their children are reaching permanency three times faster than infants and toddlers in the general foster care population. Almost two-thirds of them find permanent homes with members of their families while only one-third of infants and toddlers in the general population exit foster care to family members.
Through community-wide collaboration led by the judges who oversee child maltreatment cases, children 0-3 and their families are receiving focused attention that recognizes individual strengths and challenges. Interventions are offered to meet the specific needs of each child and parent. Unlike typical foster care cases where formal hearings occur every 3 to 6 months, these families and the teams of professionals hold hearings and/or family team meetings at least once a month.”
The Safe Babies Court Teams are rated as “Promising” Evidence-Based Practice by the California Clearinghouse. A research study found low maltreatment recurrence, stable placements, high contacts with parents (daily or several times a week), and high delivery of needed services. There is also a federally funded Quality Improvement Center that assists with Safe Babies Court Team that supports implementation and knowledge-building.
Click the following links for more information:
Program description/outcomes report: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/528-the-safe-babies-court-team-approach-championing-children-encouraging-parents-engaging-communities
Safe Babies Court Teams Evaluation: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/2181-safe-babies-court-team-trauma-informed-care-that-s-changing-lives
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse—Promising Research http://www.cebc4cw.org/program/safe-babies-court-teams-project/detailed
Quality Improvement Center for Research-Based Infant-Toddler Court Teams: http://www.qicct.org/
Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director