Caring for Families in Court: An Essential Approach to Family Justice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Caring for Families in Court

An Essential Approach to Family Justice, 1st Edition

By Barbara A. Babb, Judith D. Moran

Routledge

160 pages

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pub: 2018-12-11
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Description

In many US courts and internationally, family law cases constitute almost half of the trial caseload. These matters include child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency, as well as divorce, custody, paternity, and other traditional family law issues.

In this book, the authors argue that reforms to the family justice system are necessary to enable it to assist families and children effectively. The authors propose an approach that envisions the family court as a "care center," by blending existing theories surrounding court reform in family law with an ethic of care and narrative practice.

Building on conceptual, procedural, and structural reforms of the past several decades, the authors define the concept of a unified family court created along interdisciplinary lines — a paradigm that is particularly well suited to inform the work of family courts. These prior reforms have contributed to enhancing the family justice system, as courts now can shape comprehensive outcomes designed to improve the lives of families and children by taking into account both their legal and non-legal needs. In doing so, courts can utilize each family’s story as a foundation to fashion a resolution of their unique issues. In the book, the authors aim to strengthen a court’s problem-solving capabilities by discussing how incorporating an ethic of care and appreciating the family narrative can add to the court’s effectiveness in responding to families and children. Creating the court as a care center, the authors conclude, should lie at the heart of how a family justice system operates.

The authors are well-known figures in the area and have been involved in family court reform on both a US national and an international scale for many years.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  1. The Family Justice System—What it is, How it works, and an Ideal Unified Family Court Model

I Introduction……………………………………………………………………..

II What Is a Family Court?……………………………………………………….

    1. The Historical Development…………………………………………
    2. Current Family Court Structure………………………………………

III Who Is Using Family Courts?…………………………………………………

IV How Are Family Courts Performing?………………………………………..

V The Ideal: A Unified Family Court…………………………………………..

    1. Separate Court Structure…………………………………………….
    2. Comprehensive Subject-Matter Jurisdiction…………………………
    3. Specialized Case Management and Judicial Assignment System…..
    4. An Array of Services………………………………………………..
    5. A User-Friendly Court………………………………………………

VI Conclusion……………………………………………………………………

 

  1. The Unified Family Court’s Ecological and Therapeutic Capacities—A Crucial Interdisciplinary Paradigm
  2. I Introduction……………………………………………………………………

    II The Ecology of Human Development………………………………………..

    III Therapeutic Jurisprudence …………………………………………………..

    IV Putting the Pieces Together to Improve Family Justice…………………………………………………………………………….

    V The Need for More Components ……………………………………………….

    VI Conclusion………………………………………………………………………

     

     

     

  3. Equipping the Family Justice System with the Ethic of Care
  4. I Introduction …………………………………………………………………..

    II Defining Care and the Ethic of Care…………………………………………

    III Historical Background………………………………………………………

    IV The Ethic of Care and the Law……………………………………………..

    V The Ethic of Care versus the Ethic of Justice……………………………….

    VI Conclusion…………………………………………………………………..

  5. Family Narratives and Caring Justice

I Introduction……………………………………………………………………

II Defining Narrative

    1. Narrative Law……………………………………………………….
    2. Narrative Practice……………………………………………………

III Narrative and the Law: An Historical Perspective……………………………

IV The Importance of Narrative…………………………………………………

V Narrative Attributes……………………………………………………………

VI How Narrative Works: Narrative Competence and Narrative Capacities

    1. Narrative Competence………………………………………………..
    2. Narrative Capacities

    1. Empathy…………………………………………………………..
    2. Decision Making………………………………………………….
    3. Ethical Awareness…………………………………………………

V Conclusion……………………………………………………………………

  1. Applying an Ethic of Care to the Family Justice System: The Transformative Power of Caring and Narrative
  2. I Introduction……………………………………………………………………………

    II Envisioning the Family Justice System as a Care Center……………………………..

    III The Role of Narrative in Promoting Care……………………………………………

    IV Is Caring Teachable?…………………………………………………………………………………….

    V Conclusion………………………………………………………………………….

  3. Portraits of Caring

I Introduction……………………………………………………………………………

II Court Facilities and Aesthetics……………………………………………………….

III Specialty Court Programs

    1. Courts Targeting Young Children…………………………………………..
    2. Girls Court……………………………………………………………………
    3. Minors’ Court, Reggio Calabria, Italy……………………………………….
    4. Aboriginal Children’s Court Program, Australia…………………………..
    5. A Floating Court on the Amazon, Brazil…………………………………….

IV Court-Supplied Services…………………………………………………………..

    1. Court-Based Childcare Programs……………………………………………
    2. Court-Based Family Services………………………………………………..
    3. Translation Services………………………………………………………….

V Court-Community Connections………………………………………………………

VI Court Policies

    1. Training for Judges and Court Personnel…………………………………….
    2. Court Procedures……………………………………………………………..

VII Caring Judges

    1. Judicial Opinions……………………………………………………………..
    2. Judicial Reflections……………………………………………………………

VIII Conclusion: Caring Family Courts…………………………………………………..

 

Index

About the Authors

    Barbara A. Babb is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts at the University of Baltimore School of Law, US.

    Judith D. Moran was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, US.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW012000
LAW / Civil Procedure
LAW038000
LAW / Family Law / General
SOC004000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology