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CFCC News and Events

Learn more about the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children, and the Courts' news and events

CFCC also has numerous publications, which include newsletters, articles, reports, and books, some of which are currently for sale. Please visit our publications page for a full list of CFCC's published materials.

News

  • June, 2015- CFCC introduces "Trails Over Truancy" program to the Truancy Court Program (TCP)

    The TCP, in collaboration with Merritt Pridgeon, will introduce a new program to TCP participants in a Baltimore City Middle middle school. "Trails Over Truancy" will expose TCP students to classroom environmental activities and field trips to Robert E. Lee Park in Baltimore.

  • June, 2015- The Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund awards grant to CFCC's Truancy Court Program (TCP)

    The Krieger Fund awarded $15,000 to CFCC to continue operating the TCP in the 2015-2016 school year. This is the third consecutive year of TCP funding from the Krieger Fund.

  • June, 2015- The Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) funds CFCC's Truancy Court Program (TCP)

    For the eighth consecutive year, the AOC has provided funding to CFCC for the TCP. The $70,000 grant will be used to assist with the development and implementation of the TCP in four Baltimore City Public Schools.

  • CFCC collaborated with the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to present "Maryland's Family Justice System: a Symposium." The symposium featured keynote remarks by Maryland Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, former Chief Judge Robert Bell, and Frank Kros, Executive Vice President of the Children's Guild of Baltimore City. Panelists focused on the successes and challenges of Maryland's family justice system since the establishment of the five Family Divisions in 1998. Symposium participants laid the groundwork to move forward to address critical issues affecting families and children in family court.

  • May, 2015 - CFCC Director Barbara Babb receives the 2015 Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award

    The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) bestowed the award on Professor Babb during their 52nd Annual Conference. The award recognizes outstanding research and achievements in family law. In his introduction of Professor Babb, AFCC Oregon Chapter Leader William Howe III noted her nationally- and internationally-recognized scholarship and activism to improve the family justice system, primarily through the creation of Unified Family Courts.
  • May 27-30, 2015 - CFCC presents at 52nd annual Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) annual conference. 

    CFCC Director, Professor Barbara A. Babb, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Cathy Serrette, and CFCC Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger presented a workshop titled "Unified Family Courts: The Door to One-Stop Shopping for Children and Families" at AFCC's annual conference, "Children in the Court System: Different Doors, Different Responses, Different Outcomes." The workshop focused on how Unified Family Courts efficiently and effectively address the needs of families and children in court.
  • April 1, 2015– CFCC hosts seventh annual Urban Child Symposium.

    Over 200 people attended "Violence and the Urban Child: What Can We Do?" The symposium was hosted by CFCC at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Speakers focused on issues relating to children and violence, including juvenile detention, gang activity, trauma, and family engagement. Participants included educators, attorneys, social workers, services providers, and students.
  • March, 2015– CFCC awarded the William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation Grant.

    The O'Neill Foundation awarded CFCC $50,000 to assist in the operation of the TCP in one Anne Arundel County school and one Baltimore City Public School in the 2015-2016 school year. CFCC will establish the TCP at North County High School in Anne Arundel County, a premier STEM high school.
  • January 2015 – CFCC published A Comprehensive Approach to Truancy for Baltimore City: A Roundtable Discussion , by Professor Barbara A. Babb and
    CFCC Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger.

    The report is based on two roundtable meetings which CFCC convened for stakeholders to address the widespread truancy in Baltimore.
  • December 2014 – The Winter 2014 edition of CFCC’s e-newsletter, Full Court
    Press, was released.

    The issue focuses on the many indicators of progress that has been made to improve
    the lives of families and children.
  • November 2014 – A longtime supporter of CFCC, the Charles Crane Family
    Foundation, was honored as the 2014 Foundation of the Year by the Association
    of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

    Professor Barbara A. Babb was featured in the commemorative video.
  • November 2014 – CFCC received a $60,000 grant from the Charles Crane Family
    Foundation.

    The grant will support the Truancy Court Program (TCP) in Baltimore City for the 2015-16 academic year.
  • November 2014 – CFCC received a $25,000 new grant from State Farm Good
    Neighbor Citizenship Program.

    The funds allowed CFCC to launch Financial Literacy Workshops for parents and students participating in the Truancy Court Program (TCP) at Reginald F. Lewis High School.
  • October 2014 – Prof. Barbara Babb guest edited the October 2014 Family Court
    Review.

     
  • October 2014 – Professor Barbara A. Babb wrote "Family Courts Are Here to Stay. So Let’s Improve Them," which appeared in the Family Court Review (October 2014) and focuses on the family court’s mission, function and structure. 

    This is a response to a White Paper on how family courts addressed separating and divorcing families, published by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System’s Honoring Families Initiative.
  • July 2014 - CFCC publishes the 14th issue of its Unified Family Court Connection newsletter.

    This 14th issue celebrates the 15th anniversary of Maryland's Family Divisions with articles about the innovative and positive results of their implementation. The newsletter includes the following articles:

    • “A Tribute to the Honorable Robert M. Bell, the Leader of Maryland’s Family Divisions” by Judge Clayton Greene, Jr.
    • “Family Divisions Have Flourished in Fifteen Years and Have More to Accomplish” by Judge Cathy Hollenberg Serrette
    • “Unified Family Courts Offer a Healthy Roadmap for Families” by Risa Garon
    • “Celebrating the Evolution of the Family Divisions in Maryland” by Yolanda F. Sonnier and Kendra Randall Jolivet

    For a paper copy of the newsletter or to be added to the mailing list, please email cfcc@ubalt.edu .

  • March 26, 2014 – CFCC Director, Professor Barbara Babb, was featured on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast

    Professor Barbara Babb discussed the impact of social media on children during Sheilah Kast’s Maryland Morning segment. Professor Babb also talked about the risks and benefits of social media and about CFCC’s sixth Urban Child Symposium, “Social Media and the Urban Child: The Effects of the Digital Age."
  • February 19, 2014 – CFCC submitted written testimony in support of proposed legislation (House Bill 363: Truant Students--System of Active Intervention--Requirements)

    CFCC submitted written testimony in support of proposed legislation that calls for each Maryland county board of education to develop and implement a system of active intervention for truant students. The bill’s proposal is consistent with CFCC’s Truancy Court Program, including the establishment of an individualized reengagement plan for each truant student. You can read CFCC’s testimony here.
  • January 2014 – CFCC received a $43,172 grant from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention

    This grant will fund the addition of a lawyer to the Truancy Court Program. This position will work with the TCP’s coordinators, social workers, mentors, teachers, school administrators, and support staff to identify, analyze, and address legal issues and problems affecting TCP families.
  • December 2013 - CFCC received a $50,000 grant for the Truancy Court Program (TCP) from the Charles Crane Family Foundation.

    The Crane Foundation was the first TCP funder in 2004, allowing CFCC to launch the initiative, and has supported the program every year since then. CFCC is very grateful for the Crane Foundation’s commitment to the TCP and to improving the lives of children and families in Baltimore.
  • December 2013 - CFCC published the 7th issue of its Full Court Press E-Newsletter.

    This 7th issue featured an article entitled, “Advocates for Youth Renew Commitment to Deinstitutionalize Status Offenders.” For more information, you can view the e-newsletter here.
  • 2013 – CFCC’s Director, Prof. Barbara Babb, and Prof. David Wexler wrote a chapter on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, recently published in Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Springer 2013).

    To download the chapter, please follow the link to “Therapeutic Jurisprudence” by Barbara A. Babb and David B. Wexler.

Upcoming Events

  • October 23, 2015- Family Transitions: Issues, Solution and Policies Conference

    The National Family Resiliency Center, Inc. and CFCC will sponsor a dynamic, informative conference for all professionals working with separating and divorcing families to address key issues, create better solutions, and become change agents to help develop relevant family policy. Conference registration information will be available in August, 2015.

Recent Events

  • Co-hosted by the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts, Department of Family Administration and the UB School of Law Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts. Symposium events took place in the UB School of Law, Moot Court Room from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a reception 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • May 27-30, 2015 - Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) 52nd Annual Conference. Children in the Court System: Different Doors, Different Responses, Different Outcomes.

    Professor Barbara A. Babb, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Cathy Serrette, and Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger presented a workshop titled "Unified Family Courts: The Door to One-Stop Shopping for Children and Families" at the AFCC Conference in New Orleans.The workshop examined the interdisciplinary approach of Unified Family Courts (UFCs) and explained how UFCs are designed to address efficiently the needs of families and children in court. The workshop also explored how the UFC model empowers judges, court staff, attorneys, and court users to arrive at effective solutions to the problems that bring children and families to court.

  • April 1, 2015 - Seventh Annual Urban Child Symposium, Violence and the Urban Child: Protecting and Saving Our Children

    Over 200 people attended CFCC's seventh annual Urban Child Symposium. Speakers and panelists focused on issues relating to children and violence, including juvenile detention, gang activity, trauma, and family engagement. Participants included educators, attorneys, social workers, services providers, and students, among others. Events took place in the Moot Court Room, UB School of Law, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

  • October 2014 – CFCC hosted an exhibit featuring photography from Morocco by Sayra Wells Meyerhoff, J.D. '78, M.S. '04.

     
  • August/September 2014 – CFCC's Fall 2014 Truancy Court Program (TCP) began in five Baltimore City Public Schools, including two high schools.

     

  • June 25, 2014 - Truancy Court Program Principal’s Workshop

    CFCC held a principals’ workshop for school administrators interested to apply for its Truancy Court Program for the 2014-2015 school year. The workshop included presentations from TCP staff, Dr. Beshon Trusty-Smith (Manager, BCPS Office of Attendance and Truancy), school administrators from current TCP schools, and TCP judges. The event was attended by over 39 principals and school administrators from over 30 schools. To learn more about the TCP, please visit the Truancy Court Program webpage.

  • June 4, 2014 - First Lady’s Reception for Truancy Court Program Graduates and Their Families

    Judge Catherine Curran O’Malley, First Lady of Maryland and a CFCC Truancy Court Program judge, hosted a celebration and recognition ceremony for Baltimore City and Montgomery County Truancy Court Program graduates and their families at the Executive House in Annapolis.

  • May 28-31, 2014 – Professor Barbara Babb and CFCC Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger presented at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ (AFCC) 51st Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada.

    Professor Babb and Ms. Danziger presented a workshop, “Many Shades of Gray: How to Identify Benchmarks for Your Family Court,” at AFCC’s 51st Annual Conference, Navigating the Waters of Shared Parenting: Guidance from the Harbour, in Toronto.

  • April 3, 2014 - CFCC’s 6th Annual Urban Child Symposium

    This year’s symposium, "Social Media and the Urban Child: The Effects of the Digital Age," featured panels on:

    The Social Media Landscape and Its Effects on Individuals, Families, and Communities

    The Law, Social Media and the Urban Child

    Pros and Cons – Parents and Children

    For more information and videos from the event, please visit our Urban Child Symposium page.

  • January/February 2014 - Truancy Court Program Orientations

    Truancy Court Program (TCP) Orientations for the spring 2014 session took place in 10 TCP Schools in Baltimore City and Montgomery County.

  • January 30-31, 2014 - CFCC Director Barbara Babb served as keynote speaker at the Maine State Bar Association 2014 Access to Justice Symposium and Annual Meeting in Portland, Maine

    Professor Babb spoke as a panelist for the “Relations and Rights: Emerging Issues for Maine Families” session on January 30 and as the keynote plenary speaker for the Maine State Bar Association 2014 Annual Meeting on January 31. Her presentation was entitled “Family Justice System Reform.” For more information, please visit the Maine State Bar Association website.

Press

  • December 2014 – The American Bar Association (ABA) Journal (December
    2014) featured an article on rehoming of adopted children that included comments
    from Professor Barbara A. Babb about the challenges of matching parents and
    children in the adoption process.

     

  • August 2014 – Professor Barbara A. Babb was featured in the cover story of the
    August Maryland Family Law Monthly article entitled, “Say you want an
    evolution/ Family-law educators opt for less adversarial, more holistic approach”.

  • August 2014 – In response to a Baltimore Sun article “Raising attendance rates in
    Baltimore City schools,” the Sun published a comment from Professor Barbara A.
    Babb and Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger about the success of CFCC’s Truancy
    Court Program.

     

  • May 15, 2014 - Baltimore's WMAR TV aired a prominent story on truancy in Baltimore City, highlighting CFCC's Truancy Court Program (TCP).

     
  • May 14, 2014 – The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange published an article on CFCC’s Truancy Court Program by Gary Gately entitled, “Mock Court Gets Truant Students Back in the Classroom.”

    Gary Gately outlines the TCP’s therapeutic and holistic approach to address truancy and explores the deeper issues that emerge in CFCC’s fight to keep students in school. Gately’s interviews with CFCC Director Barbara Babb, TCP Judge Master Joyce Mitchell, and TCP staff present some of the challenges faced by many Baltimore City school children.

  • July 2013 – A chapter written by CFCC Director Prof. Barbara Babb has been newly published in Problem Solving Courts: Social Science and Legal Perspectives, edited by Richard L. Wiener and Eve M. Brank and published by Springer.

    Professor Babb’s chapter entitled, “Unified Family Courts: An Interdisciplinary Framework and a Problem-Solving Approach,” appears in a recently released book, Problem Solving Courts: Social Science and Legal Perspectives, edited by Richard L. Wiener and Eve M. Brank and published by Springer. For more information on the book and how to purchase a copy, please visit the Springer Publishers website.

  • April 1, 2013 – The Daily Record published “UB Law’s Urban Child Symposium to Focus on Trauma” by Joe Surkiewicz

    CFCC’s Fifth Annual Urban Child Symposium is the subject of an April 1 Daily Record feature. The article sets the stage for the symposium, entitled “A Holistic Approach to the Urban Child’s Trauma: From the Eyes of the Beholder,” slated for Thursday, April 4. The interdisciplinary symposium will address the importance of considering exposure to childhood trauma when developing more effective means to confront the problems that urban children and their families face.

  • January 2013 - Maryland Law Review published Professor Barbara A. Babb's "Maryland's Family Divisions: Sensible Justice for Families and Children", a retrospective of the development of family courts in Maryland that honored the critical role played by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell.

  • October 22, 2012 – The Daily Record published “Truancy Court Aims to Keep Youngsters out of Bigger Problems” by Steve Lash.

    CFCC’s Truancy Court Program is the subject of an October 22 Daily Record feature. The articles focuses on the TCP’s positive effect on truant students in Baltimore City and Montgomery County, Maryland. Professor Barbara A. Babb, CFCC Director, and TCP volunteer judges, including Judge Catherine O’Malley, Judge James Sarsfield, and Assistant State’s Attorney George Simms, explain the importance of an early intervention, non-punitive, and holistic approach to address the reasons why students are missing school.

  • CFCC’s Truancy Court Program Named a ‘Bright Idea’ by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

    The Truancy Court Program developed by the University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Families, Children and the Courts has been recognized by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, as a Bright Idea..

Want to learn more about CFCC's activities? CFCC's news archives are available.