Judge sheri roberts juvenile court newton county november 15 2011 ga casa conference
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Judge Sheri Roberts, Juvenile Court Newton County November 15, 2011 GA CASA Conference. Cold Case Project. Agenda. Timeline of Events Description of Project View from the Bench Recommendations that came from the Project Where we go from here Questions & Answers. Timeline of Events:. &.

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Judge Sheri Roberts, Juvenile Court Newton County

November 15, 2011

GA CASA Conference

Cold Case Project


  • Timeline of Events

  • Description of Project

  • View from the Bench

  • Recommendations that came from the Project

  • Where we go from here

  • Questions & Answers

Timeline of Events:


The Committee on Justice

for Children

Identifying Cold Cases

  • Scientific Definition:

    • Children most likely to negatively impact state conformity with CFSR Permanency Composite 3

  • Practical Definition:

    • Children most likely to “age-out” without permanency.

Permanency Composite 3

Cooking w/ Multivariate Regression


  • Cold Cases


  • 89 data elements from AFCARS Foster Care file

    Final Product

  • Tastes about 90% good!

View from the Bench:APPLA: Federal Authority ($)

  • APPLA is one of the permissible permanency goals under the Adoption & Safe Families Act of 1997.

    • A child may have a permanency goal of APPLA, but only when the State agency has documented to the court a compelling reason for determining that it would not be in the best interest of the child to follow one of the other four specified options.

      • 45 CFR § 1355.20(v)

  • State must consider all other options permanency options first, and even then, must document a compelling reason for any alternate plan:

    • 45 CFR § 1355.21(h)(3)

APPLA: Compelling Reasons

  • Examples of a compelling reason may include:

    • The case of an older teen who specifically requests that emancipation be established as his/her permanency plan;

    • The case of a parent & child who have a significant bond, but parent is unable to care for the child b/c of an emotional or physical disability and the child’s foster parents have committed to raising him/her to the age of majority and to facilitate visitation with the disabled parent

      • 45 CFR § 1355.21(h)(3)(i)-(ii)

APPLA: Georgia

SSM § 1006.8: Two Options for APPLA

  • Long-Term Foster Care

    Signed, Informal Agreement by Substitute

    Caregiver and Child

  • Emancipation

    Basically Same as Above, but Nobody to Sign

    Long-Term Foster Care Agreement

  • Policy recognizes neither option is really permanency, and cautions against adopting as permanency plan for any child.


DHS Practice Bulletin: Permanency For

Children: APPLA. January 2009

  • Generally Appropriate for some older

    youth, age 16 or older.

    • Insists compelling reasons “be convincing

      and forceful. [They] must be supported

      with very strong, case-specific facts and evidence which includes justification for the decisions and reasons why all other permanent options for a child are not reasonable, appropriate, or possible.”

APPLA: Washington D.C.

Policy Title: Establishing the Goal of APPLA

D.C. CFSA, June 25, 2009

  • Child at least 16, with concurrent plan to

    identify adults who will commit to youth

    after time in foster care ends

    • Youth must reconsider permanency options 6 weeks before every permanency hearing.

    • APPLA goal shall be constantly examined and revisited at all relevant team meetings and reviews – never considered fixed or immutable.

APPLA: Virgina

VA DSS, Volume VII, § 3B - 7.6 thru 7.7

  • The selection of APPLA is appropriate

    only ifthe child has a severe chronic

    emotional, physical, or neurological

    disabling condition for which the child

    requires long-term residential treatment of

    six months or longer.”

  • But allows APPLA for older youth preparing to transition to ILP when all other goals are have been considered and ruled out.

“AFCARS: Meet Google.” Legal Orphan Chart

Cold Case Recommendations

  • Diligent Search must be a priority

  • Limit use of APPLA

  • Involve children in plans/connections

  • Improve ILP services, need consistency

  • Meaningful representation

  • Improve judicial oversight

  • Reduce adoption dissolution

  • Prosecute sexual abuse

  • Increase access to reproductive health info

Psychotropic Meds

  • State Representative Oliver introduced House Bill 23 in January 2011 to provide transparency and oversight in the administration of psychotropic meds by DFCS.

  • Partnership between Casey Family Programs, Barton Center at Emory University, DFCS, J4C for independent oversight by local child psychiatrist.

  • Karen Worthington researched and published paper on the issue. PDF available here:



  • Online Videos:

    • Pat O’Brien, You Gotta Believe!


    • Sue Badeau, Casey Family Programs


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