With the Clergy in the Court for Kids program, DFPS partners with judges statewide to invite clergy and faith leaders to attend court proceedings. By attending proceedings, they are introduced to families in need in their community. Faith communities can then help in any way they want – from prevention and family preservation to permanency.
The judge sends a letter requesting a faith leader attend a court proceeding. The judge will give a short introduction in their chamber before they begin, outlining the cases the faith leader can expect to see. After the hearings, the judge, along with a DFPS staff member and a Court-Appointed Special Advocate, can answer questions and discuss ways that faith community can help families.
Importance of Family Resources
This initiative also gives judges an opportunity to learn about the resources available to help families through faith communities. We know faith leaders take action when they are aware of needs in their community. We also are hopeful they will continue to assist families beyond their time in the child welfare system, giving those families much-needed support to decrease their chance of being involved with CPS in the future.
For more information, contact your local faith-based and community engagement coordinator.