The Third Branch
E-Learning site to help with child welfare cases
By Bridget Bauman, Children's Court Improvement Project
The Children's Court Improvement Program (CCIP) has developed the CCIP E-Learning Project, which is scheduled for release in December. The project is an online, self-directed educational resource to assist with the processing of child welfare cases. It can be used around the clock to obtain information on conducting key court proceedings, statutory requirements, applicable case law, and recommended best practices.
The content was created by members of a steering committee that includes St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward F. Vlack III, Waukesha County Assistant Corporation Counsel Molly Jasmer, St. Croix County Family and Children's Administrator Kathy Dunlap, and CCIP staff. The programming and technical support for the project are being provided by Fox Valley Technical College.
As the lead judge on the project, Vlack describes the online training as an innovative way to provide information to the judiciary.
"The CCIP E-Learning Project is a completely new format for judicial education in Wisconsin. It can best be described as an enhanced, online audio-visual benchbook."
The online training is divided into three training modules with a total of 15 learning activities, which are organized as follows:
- Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) Case Processing
- Temporary Physical Custody Hearing
- Plea Hearing
- Fact-Finding Hearing
- Consent Decree
- Dispositional Hearing
- Extension Hearing
- Revision Hearing
- Change in Placement
- Permanency Hearing
- Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Case Processing
- Voluntary Hearing on the Petition
- Involuntary Hearing on the Petition
- Involuntary Fact-Finding Hearing
- Dispositional Hearing
- Specialty Topics
- Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Vlack said that this is a convenient resource that will be helpful to judges hearing cases under the Children's Code.
"It is expected that the training will be used by judges new to the bench, judges going into a juvenile court rotation, or judges who want to review the procedures for a particular hearing in a CHIPS, TPR, or adoption case. As each learning activity ranges in length from 10 to 30 minutes, a judge can quickly and easily watch an activity in chambers to be adequately prepared to handle an upcoming hearing."
Additional input from the following judicial officers was obtained via focus groups held throughout the development process: Dane County Circuit Court Judge Shelley Gaylord, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Christopher R. Foley, Taylor County Circuit Court Judge Ann N. Knox-Bauer, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Marshall Bertram Murray, and Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Anton Jamieson.
Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson said the E-Learning program is already drawing attention in judicial education circles. During a recent visit, Abrahamson said shared information about the CCIP E-Learning program with Alfredo Attié Jr, a law professor at the Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) and judge on the São Paulo Supreme Court. Attié said he was enthused about the potential for E-Learning in his jurisdiction and will look to Wisconsin as a model program.
The CCIP E-Learning Project can be accessed at: www.wicciptraining.com
For more information, contact Bridget Bauman, CCIP Policy Analyst, at email@example.com.