Early Childhood Court

The greatest opportunity for influencing a child’s life begins at birth. This science-based perspective is the very force that drives the Early Childhood Court program.

Every 6 minutes, a baby or toddler in America is removed from his/her parents’ care because of alleged abuse or neglect (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for children and Families, Children’s Bureau, 2016). At a time when these children are first exploring the world, when their lives as learners are just beginning, they are learning that the world is a dangerous and frightening place. These children are the most at risk for damage from cognitive, developmental, emotional and physical delays or disabilities that will sabotage their ability to have healthy productive lives.

Despite this grim forecast, research confirms that the early years present an unparalleled window of opportunity to effectively intervene with very young victims of maltreatment (National Research Council & Institute of Medicine, 2000). The Early Childhood Court Program serves as a cooperative and dynamic structure of collaboration as well as creating partnerships among judges, families, and teams of professionals. These collaborative efforts work toward goals important to all: connecting babies and their families with the support and services they need to promote healthy child development while ensuring speedier exits from the child welfare system.

Email Kristie Skoglund or call 941-371-8820 x 1021

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