Three Month Court Reviews

In order to be part of the Permanency Practice Initiative (PPI), counties were asked to conduct three month court reviews in dependency cases. This requirement is based upon the belief that with more frequent court involvement and accountability, the service objectives are met in a timely manner.

This was a significant change, as the regulations require only six month reviews. The reviews serve as an important reminder to parents seeking reunification that their case will be before the judge within three months, and that the judge will hold the parents accountable in reaching the goals set-forth in their family service plan. Additionally, the court holds the Agency accountable to provide services in a prompt and efficient manner, and to monitor the parent’s compliance with those services.

With no additional resources available, there was a disparity in how counties accomplished this component of the PPI. Some counties converted all dependency out of home cases to three month court reviews immediately. Some review cases even more often. Others identified a sub-section of children currently in out of home placements with which to begin implementation.

More Frequent 3 Month Court Reviews:

  • Allow the court opportunity to more closely monitor progress towards achievement of permanency for children
  • Are the best way to hold all stakeholders accountable for concurrent planning/progress
  • Permit all stakeholders to better know children, families and case details/strengthens relationship between the family and the court
  • Increase awareness of the changing needs of children and families and thereby better provide needed services in a timely manner
  • Assist families in getting back on track through early identification of concerns
  • Increase support to children and families and provide opportunity to build upon accomplishments in a timely manner
  • Assure parties are in court at the 15 out of 22 month milestone
  • Expedite permanency / reduce delays to permanency (safe reunification, adoption, legal guardianship or another permanent planned living arrangement)
More frequent three month court reviews ensure that dependency cases move as quickly as possible, lessening trauma for the children involved.