This field study reports on a cross-site evaluation of dependency courts in communities receiving federal funding to implement the Greenbook initiative, a multisite demonstration for community improvement of coordinated responses to families victimized by domestic violence and child maltreatment. This article focuses on the dependency court, where child maltreatment cases are heard, specifically court participation in collaborative activities and court practice improvements. Findings indicate that perceptions of judicial leadership varied considerably by site. Cross-training appeared to increase over time, particularly with court staff. Collaborative efforts emerged across the Greenbook initiative with regard to the courts, and some innovative practices appeared within Greenbook sites, such as separate case plans for perpetrators and victims of violence in families, reducing the likelihood of controversial failure to protect charges. Results also highlight challenges inherent in changing court practices. Research and practice implications are discussed, focusing on relevance to other communities attempting to work collaboratively with the court system.
- Child maltreatment
- Dependency courts
- Domestic violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology