Department of Health & Human Services  
  Home | Links | Contact

Timeliness. Establishing and complying with state and federal guidelines for timely case processing are also important court process performance goals. Limiting the time required to bring litigation to a conclusion limits the exposure of families to emotionally-charged issues that can have a detrimental impact on children. Long periods of uncertainty and judicial indecision can put pressure on children and families, greatly adding to the strain of foster care. In addition, judicial timeliness is closely related to the goal of permanency. Children can be damaged by “foster care drift” – remaining too long in “temporary” foster homes. Clearly, the length of time required to resolve family issues needs to be limited and reasonable, given the potential harm from delays. Courts need guideposts to help them determine how well they are meeting the goals.

Key Measures

  1. Time to Permanent Placement - Average (median) time from filing of the original petition to permanent placement.
  2. Time to Adjudication - Average (median) time from filing of the original petition to adjudication.
  3. Time to First Permanency Hearing - Average (median) time from filing of the original petition to the first permanency hearing.
  4. Time to Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) - Average (median) time from filing of the original petition to termination of parental rights.

Streaming Video

Click here for an overview of timeliness of case processing by Sophia Gatowski.
(Length - 7 min 04 sec)