About The National Infant Toddler Court Program

The ITCP is operated by ZERO TO THREE in partnership with The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law; The Center for the Study of Social Policy; The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; an independent evaluation team at RTI International; and our expert consultants.

Our Work

The overall goal of the Infant-Toddler Court Program is to improve the health, safety, well-being, and development of infants, toddlers and families in the child welfare system.

The Infant-Toddler Court Program aims to:

  • Promote the spread of evidence-based infant-toddler courts to other jurisdictions
  • Build the evidence-base for infant-toddler courts
  • Promote the implementation of two-generation, trauma-informed, evidence-based early interventions in the court and child welfare systems and across child- and family-serving systems
  • Advance the ability to address parents’ past trauma and immediate service needs, and
  • Strengthen child welfare practices and early childhood systems to support the parent-child relationship and optimize the well-being of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system

The National Resource Center for the Infant-Toddler Court Program provides support to local communities and states seeking implement the evidence-based infant-toddler court team approach, Safe Babies Court Team™. SBCTs offer a structure for interdisciplinary, collaborative, and proactive teamwork that applies the science of early childhood development in meeting the urgent needs of infants and toddlers and works intensively to build parent protective factors to strengthen their families. The target population of SBCTs is children birth-to-three years of age in foster care, or at risk of removal, and their families.

We work with any dependency court or Family Drug court, child welfare agency, or statewide effort, providing:

  • Training & Technical Assistance for effective implementation and sustainability
  • Network and collaboration building
  • Cross-sector trainings
  • Data utilization in key decision-making and evaluation
  • State-level policy support

The ITCP recommends the use of evidence-based and evidence-informed practices that are:

  • Supported by evidence of efficacy and a strong theory of change with infants, toddlers, and families in the child welfare system;
  • Guided by elements of early development and attachment between young children and their parents and caregivers; and
  • Informed with family, community, and professional values.

Learn more at about the ITCP’s work around evidence-based practices.


ZERO TO THREE is a national nonprofit that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development. Our mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. We were founded in 1977 by top experts in child development, health and mental health. We have evolved into the organization that plays a critical leadership role in promoting understanding around key issues affecting young children and their families, including child care, infant mental health, early language and literacy development, early intervention and the impact of culture on early childhood development. ZERO TO THREE is unique in our multidisciplinary approach to child development. Our emphasis on bringing together the perspectives of many fields and many specialists is rooted in the robust research studies showing that all domains of development—social, emotional, intellectual, language and physical—are interdependent and work together to promote a child’s overall health and well-being in the context of his family and culture.

Our Partners

American Bar Association Center on Children and Law

The Center promotes access to justice for children and families. Their team of attorneys and core staff work on a diverse portfolio of national, regional and local projects in the children’s law field throughout the country. Center projects are unified by two complementary goals: improving legal representation and improving the legal systems that impact children and families.The Center ensures those who work on children’s law matters throughout the country have the resources and support they need to do their jobs at the highest level.

Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is a national, nonprofit organization recognized for its leadership in shaping policy, reforming public systems and building the capacity of communities. For more than 30 years, CSSP has influenced and supported elected officials, public administrators, families and neighborhood residents to take the actions they need. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in New York and Los Angeles, CSSP translates research and new ideas into on-the-ground solutions. We then use the knowledge from those real experiences to better inform the next generation of ideas, programs and policies. All of CSSP’s work is devoted to ensuring low-income children and youth can learn, develop and thrive with the support of strong families in safe and healthy communities. To achieve this goal, we focus on those who face the most significant barriers to opportunity, including racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants and refugees, families in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and families in contact with intervening public systems (e.g., child welfare, juvenile justice). Our work positively impacts outcomes for multiple generations—both parents and their children, and with a decades-long history of providing on-the-ground assistance and consultation across the country, CSSP continues to co-invest with communities to make sustainable changes.

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)

The NCJFCJ is one of the largest and oldest judicial membership organizations in the nation, serving an estimated 30,000 professionals in the juvenile and family justice system including judges, referees, commissioners, court masters and administrators, social and mental health workers, police, and probation officers. The mission of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is to provide all judges, courts, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice. The NCJFCJ is committed to advancing judicial understanding of recommended dependency court practice, infants, toddlers, and families in the court system, and judicial leadership for systems change.

RTI International

RTI International is one of the world’s leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. Our staff of more than 3,700 provides research and technical services to governments and businesses in more than 75 countries in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, international development, economic and social policy, energy and the environment, and laboratory testing and chemical analysis.