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Pilot Seeks Better Outcomes for Children in Need
In an effort to improve outcomes for abused and neglected children, the Eighth Judicial District is launching a two-year pilot program targeting court cases involving Children in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS cases).
Under the pilot, CHIPS cases in a five-county region - Kandiyohi, Meeker, Swift, Yellow Medicine, and Renville counties – will be heard by a single judge and managed by specialized court staff. Judge Jennifer K. Fischer, who is chambered in Kandiyohi County, will serve as the lead CHIPS judge during the pilot, and, in addition to her court reporter and law clerk, will be supported by two dedicated administrative staff who will focus on ensuring court cases involving vulnerable children are processed in a timely fashion. The goal of the pilot, which is slated to last two years, is to find safe, permanent homes for at-risk children as quickly as possible.
Eighth District Takes On Statewide Case Processing Work
Work is underway to centralize the processing of expedited child support orders from all 87 district courts among a group of specialized staff working in Minnesota’s Eighth Judicial District.
Consolidating this important statewide case work into the Eighth District will help support staffing levels in the state’s smallest Judicial District, allowing the 13 district courts in the District to meet minimum staffing levels and ensure staff are available to assist court users throughout western Minnesota. For more information on this reengineering initiative, read Reengineering Minnesota’s Courts.
Judges, Court Leaders Hold Listening Session in Willmar
The Eighth Judicial District Equal Justice Committee held a community listening session on April 22, 2017, at the public library in Willmar. The event, which featured a Somali language interpreter, was designed to facilitate conversations between judges and court staff and the community that they serve. Participants talked about the local justice system and their own court experiences, and shared ideas on how judges and staff could improve the courts. The Eighth Judicial District Equal Justice Committee produced a summary report of the event and the main themes that emerged from the discussions.