Juvenile Judges Train To Help Ohio’s Youngest
Judges who preside over cases for Ohio’s youngest citizens recently participated in the first two Safe and Together Regional training seminars in Dayton and Columbus. Dozens of Ohio juvenile judges worked on best practices for working with children whose lives are turned upside down due to domestic violence.
The seminars focused on strengthening the judicial system’s response to domestic violence cases when it impacts a child’s safety and well-being. The judges talked with their justice partners, including guardians ad litem, prosecutors, and child advocacy center and child protection services staff, among others, about domestic violence practices that promoted child welfare in their courts.
This discussion was followed by other community conversations that examined creative, cost-effective responses to children experiencing domestic violence. At the end of the day, each judge-led county team left with an action plan and defined tasks to improve domestic violence practices.
Judge Elizabeth Gill of the Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court participated in the Columbus training panel presentation and said “collaboration among community stakeholders is critical.”
“Judges have the ability to bring justice partners to the table to ensure the best interest of children remains central to all recommendations,” Judge Gill said.
Endorsed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the judges and their justice partners discussed the Safe and Together™ Model, which is the guide children services should use when applying the “differential response” approach to child abuse cases involving domestic violence in the home. This model focuses on child safety and welfare as primary concerns for all justice partners and explores the offending parent’s abusive behaviors and the non-offending parent’s protective behaviors.
One panelist in the Dayton seminar, juvenile judge Anthony Capizzi, said Montgomery County already uses alternative response by collaborating with its local partners.
“As we have implemented these programs, our goal has always been to make sure they complement one another’s work. This provides better information to the court and lets me ask more meaningful questions, which results in better-informed decisions from the bench,” Judge Capizzi said.
Juvenile judges and their justice partners in northwest and northeast Ohio can register for the Safe and Together Regional Training seminar in their area through Judicial eCademy. The regional meetings will be held in Perrysburg (Toledo-area) on May 19 and Fairlawn (Akron-area) on May 20. Judges and attorneys who attend the seminar can receive up to 4.5 CJE and CLE credit hours, respectively, and professionals requiring social work credits may receive 4.5 continuing professional education hours. Questions about the upcoming trainings can be directed to Diana Ramos-Reardon at 614.387.9408 or email@example.com.
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