Our Court Team
The Mohave/La Paz County Court Team was established in January 2010. After reviewing the needs and assets of the rural area, it was noted that a need existed to provide additional support to infants and toddlers and their families who are involved with child welfare. There are an increasing number of infants and toddlers with complicated and serious physical, mental health, and developmental problems being removed from their homes. These young children are at great risk for long term harm due to the rapid development of their brains at this critical time in their lives. Foster parents and providers do not always have the necessary training to help address the unique social and emotional needs of this vulnerable population.
The Court Team is composed of the Presiding Juvenile Judge, attorneys, Child Protective Services (CPS) case workers/supervisors, early childhood education providers, Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) members, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), mental health providers, foster agency representatives, foster parents, and other community stakeholders invested in helping Mohave/La Paz County’s infants and toddlers in the child welfare system.
The goal of our Court Team is to be more responsive to the unique needs of very young children and their families by promoting a healthy environment to reduce the reoccurrence of abuse and neglect. Training on early childhood development is provided to court personnel, CPS case workers, CASA, dependency attorney’s, foster parents, and child-serving agencies region wide.
Functions of the Court Team
The role of the team is to advocate for children ages 0 to 5 years of age. The team creates programs and policies that are evidence based to be best practice for early childhood. The core components of the team include:
- Judicial Leadership
- A Collaborative Community Team
- Support from child development and mental health experts
- Training and technical assistance
- Analysis of case issues
Providing a collaborative system to prepare and promote a healthy environment for children and families
- Strong families are the building blocks of strong communities
- About 90% of a child’s brain develops before age 5. The jobs of helping children succeed in school starts the day they’re born, and First Things First gives children the tools to make that happen.
- Critical skills, like motivation, self-discipline, focus and self-esteem, begin to take root from birth to 5 years old. Successful people share these traits and we must give children the tools to develop these essential skills.