Babies Can't Wait: Focusing on Infant Health Needs in Bronx Family Court

Starting in March 2001, New York State's Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children developed and implemented a pilot training project in the Bronx family court system called "Babies Can't Wait."

The project was designed to better identify, document and track infants in family court and provide for their special health and developmental needs. It sought to ensure that cases in Bronx Family Court involving infants would receive increased judicial review, with protocols to help the court make appropriate and timely referrals to targeted services for infants in foster care and their foster families.

Key Results

  • To further ascertain the specific needs of infants served by the court, project staff conducted a literature review and examined court records of previous cases.

  • Project staff conducted a multidisciplinary training series in the Bronx for more than 80 participants, including judges, court attorneys and staff of the state's social services department for children.

  • Project staff developed a checklist for family court judges and other personnel, legal aid attorneys, court-appointed children's advocates and others involved in family court cases involving infants in foster care.