The Strong Starts Court Initiative enhances the capacity of Family Court to bring positive changes to court-involved babies and their families.
The initiative promotes a shift from an adversarial to a collaborative approach in addressing the needs of families. Infants and parents receive customized service plans and access to a network of community-based service providers, including child development services, adult development services, and services required for family stability.
Families in our Strong Starts Court Initiative, which supports young children and their families who are in New York City Family Court due to allegations of abuse or neglect, have fewer subsequent child welfare petitions than families not receiving enhanced support.
Family Court, which addresses complex issues involving some of the most vulnerable populations, is not exempt from the effects that COVID-19 are having on court operations across the country, forcing many to close courthouses, reduce or delay hearings, or conduct business remotely.
This report is a process evaluation designed to document the first nine months of the Strong Starts Court Initiative, a collaborative problem-solving approach for infants (three years or younger) and families involved in child abuse and neglect cases in Bronx Family Court.