WASHINGTON – The United States Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, selected Zero to Three as the national Quality Improvement Center for Research-Based Infant-Toddler Court Teams (QIC-CT) project, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has been selected as one of its demonstration sites. To operate the QIC-CT, Zero to Three and its partners, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and RTI, International, will provide intensive training and technical assistance to fully develop and expand research-based infant-toddler court teams based on the Safe Babies Court Team approach in demonstration sites.
“Safe Babies (aka Zero To Three) has provided services to families in the community since 2009,” said Tina Saunooke, Safe Babies program community coordinator. “With the new award, this will allow for an additional staff person and a focus on data collection and how the judicial system works with families to expedite permanency and concurrent planning. This is perfect timing with the new Public Health and Human Services expansion to provide Child Protective Services and Foster Care and many other supportive services that are being provided by the state and counties agencies. Cherokee agencies and Cherokee programs serving our Cherokee families has been a goal finally coming to fruition.”
The goals of the QIC-CT are to: strengthen and enhance the capacity of the courts, child welfare agencies and related child serving organizations in the demonstration sites to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for infants and toddlers in the child welfare system; and create momentum for collaborative approaches meeting the developmental needs of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system. The QIC-CT will disseminate best practices and findings from the experiences with each site, including identification of practices that are transferable to state and local child welfare systems across the United States.
The demonstration sites, which were selected through a rigorous review process, include: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee; New Haven/Milford Safe Babies Court Teams, Connecticut; The Florida Court Improvement Program, Florida; The Judiciary, State of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii; Polk County Safe Babies Court Team, Des Moines, Iowa; and Forrest County Safe Babies Court Team, Hattiesburg, Miss.
“We know that collaboration across all the agencies working with infants and toddlers in the child welfare system benefits children and their families, and ultimately the communities where they live,” said Janie Huddleston, QIC-CT Director. “We were excited by the applicants’ enthusiasm for this approach. The QIC-CT demonstration sites are national learning laboratories for promoting evidence-based practices, increasing capacity for change, and supporting the healthy development of infants and toddlers.”
– Zero to Three