The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of judicial case progression in predicting time to case closure using nested modeling to test case-, judge-, and district-level effects. Despite a national focus on streamlining the abuse/neglect court process, there has not been empirical evidence that judicial activities, as compared to activities by the child welfare agency, have a significant impact on the time children spend in foster care. Model results indicated that while district-level effects did not exist, a significant amount of variance was accounted for at the judge level-43.1% in 2008 and 39.2% in 2009. In particular, the timing of specific early stage hearings significantly predict time to case closure. These findings suggest that the rhetorical emphasis on increasing judicial control over case progression to facilitate timely case closure has some empirical basis.
- Case progression
- Child welfare
- Judicial decision making
- Juvenile court
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science