Mission Statement: To ensure that children who have experienced abuse and neglect attain safe, stable, permanent homes and improved well-being.
The Children's Justice Initiative (CJI) is a collaboration between the Minnesota Judicial Branch and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. These two state entities work closely with the local juvenile courts, court administrators, social services agencies, county attorneys, guardians ad litem, attorneys for parents and children, tribes, and other key stakeholders in each of Minnesota's 87 counties. The overall objectives are to improve child well-being and timely find safe, stable, permanent homes for children who experience abuse and neglect, first through reunification with the child's parents if that is safe or, if not, through another permanent placement option. When identifying and implementing improvements, the goal is for all stakeholders to operate "through the eyes of the child" so as to achieve child safety, permanency, and well-being.
Implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)
To learn more about the FFPSA and how the Minnesota Judicial Branch is implementing its court review requirements, visit the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Help Topic.
Contact to Closure Project
The CJI is leading a project which focuses on the progression of cases from contact to closure as they move toward permanency, focusing on cases that are beyond or most at risk of not meeting the Judicial Branch Timing Objectives. To learn more about this project, please visit the Contact to Closure Project Information page.
Hon. Robert Blaeser Indian Child Welfare Excellence Award
The Hon. Robert Blaeser Indian Child Welfare Excellence Award is presented annually by the Children’s Justice Initiative (CJI) to an individual or group who during the past year (October 2022 through September 2023) has demonstrated excellence in Indian child welfare advocacy by:
- Making a significant contribution toward achieving full compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA); and/or
- Improving the well-being of American Indian children and families who experience the child welfare system.
Individual nominees may be involved in child welfare in any role, including judges, court administration, county attorneys, social services workers, attorneys for children and parents, guardians ad litem, tribal representatives, or others who work to improve outcomes for American Indian children and families. Nominees may also include groups such as CJI Teams, county child welfare agencies, or other groups.
Nomination forms must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday November 8, 2023 to the email address stated in the attachment.
The Children’s Justice Initiative plans to present the award to the recipient(s) at the final 2023 meeting of CJI ICWA Subcommittee on November 29, 2023.
Hon. Robert Blaeser Award - Overview, Criteria & Nomination Form (2023)