The Safe Babies Court Team Approach: Championing Children, Encouraging Parents, Engaging Communities
Safe Babies Court Teams place a high priority on supporting birth parents in what we hope is a healing journey toward reunification with their young children. To date we have worked with more than 1,200 parents and over 1,000 infants and toddlers across 12 sites.
The Safe Babies Court Team is a community engagement and systems-change initiative focused on improving how the courts, child welfare agencies, and related child-serving organizations work together, share information, and expedite services for young children in the child welfare system. The Safe Babies Court Teams help very young victims of maltreatment by:
- Protecting babies from further harm and addressing the damage already done; and
- Exposing the structural issues in the child welfare system that prevent families from succeeding.
The first Safe Babies Court Teams began in 2005 and have been replicated over the years in several sites across the country. Each Safe Babies Court Team is a public–private collaboration between ZERO TO THREE (ZTT), local courts, community leaders, child and family advocates, child welfare agencies, early care and education providers, government agencies, private philanthropies, nonprofit and private service providers, and attorneys committed to improving the community’s response to child abuse and neglect.
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Beginning in 2005, the Safe Babies Court Teams Project has hosted an annual meeting for judges, child welfare professionals, and other stakeholders to visit one of our Safe Babies Court Teams and dis…