Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard announced today that applications are available for Family Court Project grants. The one-year grant offers up to $40,000 for trial courts. The application deadline is July 1, 2011.
The Family Court Project was established in 1999 primarily to develop models to coordinate the court process for families who have multiple cases pending in the courts. There are currently 23 Indiana counties with Family Court Projects.
Since the initiative began, participating courts have identified needs beyond case coordination and information sharing. As a result, the 2012 grants will focus on creating innovative programs that improve the court process for families. Chief Justice Shepard explained, “We’re expanding our vision of how to help courts and families manage the unique stresses and safety issues involved in family law cases. Our goal is to improve the outcomes for families.”
Priority will be given to applications for Family Court Project grants that show innovative programming in three main areas:
- Access to Justice - improving access to the courts for families without attorneys by providing legal information about the court process, referrals for legal or social services, or legal clinics to assist parties with completing court forms.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution/Early Case Management - promoting timely resolution of cases by identifying critical issues and appropriate services early in the court process and encouraging parties to consider settlement possibilities before they become entrenched in conflict.
- Court-Related Services - implementing other programs that support families throughout the court process, such as training attorneys to provide pro bono guardian ad litem (GAL) services for high conflict custody cases, referring families for brief focused assessments, providing a safe location for supervised visitation and mediation and legal services, addressing truancy issues through attendance review panels or truancy diversion programs and/or an attendance court.
The grant application is available at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/family-court/. Questions about the process should be directed to Family Court Manager Loretta Oleksy at (317) 233-0784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.