CFCC has published and distributed the Fall/Winter edition of its popular Unified Family Court Connection newsletter.This 10th issue focuses on the child welfare system and includes articles written by presenters at CFCC’s third Urban Child Symposium, “The Urban Child in the Child Welfare System: From Fracture to Fix” held last April. For a paper copy, please email email@example.com.
Dec. 5-8, 2011 - In collaboration with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), CFCC held two trainings for professionals who work with families and children. On Dec. 5 and 6, William A. Eddy presented on Managing Personality-Disordered Parents. On Dec. 7 and 8, Dr. Barbara Jo Fidler addressed Children and Divorce: The Voice of the Child and Interventions - When Children Resist Parental Contact.
Dec. 2011 - The six schools participating in CFCC’s Baltimore City Truancy Court Program (TCP) held graduations in December. Seventy-five percent of participants graduated from the program, based on a 70 percent decrease in unexcused absences and tardies. One of the most effective features of the program this semester was the strong participation of UB volunteers. CFCC trained over thirty students and staff to serve as tutors and mentors for TCP students. CFCC also has incorporated a “Kids and Theater” workshop into the TCP. Professional playwrights and actors taught TCP students in an after-school program how to write and improvise plays. The workshop culminated in a rousing performance by participating Truancy Court Program (TCP) and other students.
On October 28, 2011, Professor Barbara Babb, CFCC’s director, spoke at and moderated a plenary session at the American Bar Association Section of Family Law Continuing Legal Education Conference. The plenary, “Promising Practices in Family Law Cases,” looked at ways to improve the practice of family law.
September 24, 2011 - Professor Barbara Babb, CFCC’s director, was recognized as one of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau’s 100 Champions of Human Rights and Justice during the Maryland Legal Aid Centennial Celebration. She was honored with this prestigious award, along with other distinguished legal, judicial, and academic leaders, at an “evening of salutes and entertainment.”
August 18, 2011, University of Baltimore William H. Thumel Business Center - CFCC hosted the Truancy Court Program (TCP) Team Training Workshop. Eighteen administrators and faculty from the six Baltimore City public schools that have been selected to participate in the 2011-2012 TCP convened for a training workshop. The training included CFCC staff presentations on the TCP process, procedures, and timeline. In addition, UB Family Mediation Clinic Fellow, Lydia Nussbaum, spoke about mediation services available to TCP students and their families. Former CFCC Student Fellow, Kate Wolfson, and representatives from two of our returning TCP schools gave participants insights into the challenges and benefits of the TCP and provided troubleshooting tips on a wide range of issues.
June 20, 2011, University of Baltimore Student Center – CFCC’s Truancy Court Program (TCP) held a “principals’ workshop” for school administrators interested in applying for the program in the 2011-12 school year. “A Truancy Court Program for Baltimore City: Positive Results for Children, Families, Schools and Communities” was attended by 47 participants from 31 schools, and provided in-depth information about the TCP from 9:00 am to 2pm at the University of Baltimore Student Center, Fifth Floor, 21 West Mount Royal Avenue. Participants heard from principals and administrators at some of the schools that have implemented the TCP, TCP judges, and CFCC representatives. In addition, CFCC representatives shared plans for continuing the TCP, including the TCP application process and selection of new schools for the program.
The Maryland Daily Record published a column by Joe Surkiewicz profiling the Truancy Court Program and describing volunteer opportunities for Maryland judges.
June 6, 2011, Executive House, Annapolis – Judge Catherine Curran O’Malley, First Lady of Maryland and a CFCC Truancy Court Program volunteer judge, hosted a celebration and recognition ceremony for Truancy Court Program graduates from Baltimore City. Families, staff, and other distinguished guests came out in proud support of the many enthusiastic TCP students. Thank you, Judge O’Malley!
April 28, 2011, University of Maryland School of Law - The University of Baltimore School of Law and the University of Maryland School of Law, co-sponsored a one-day symposium celebrating Maryland Legal Aid’s Centennial. “Advancing Human Rights and Justice for All” addressed international and national human rights advocacy and its application to local advocacy strategies when serving the poor. The keynote speech was delivered by Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
On March 31, 2011, the Baltimore Sun printed “Tackling Chronic Absenteeism in Baltimore Schools,” a letter to the editor from Professor Barbara Babb and Senior Fellow Gloria Danziger, praising improvements in the Baltimore City Public Schools, noting the work that remains on attendance issues, and celebrating the collaboration that the Center for Families, Children and the Courts has enjoyed with the school system through its Truancy Court Program.