National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is devoted to ensure justice for every family and every child in courts throughout the country.

Its mission is: to continuously improve the family court system and court practices and to raise awareness of the core issues that touch the lives of our nation’s children and families. 

Over the past eight decades, the NCJFCJ has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of our society. The vital work of the NCJFCJ began in 1937 when a group of judges came together looking to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s juvenile courts. One of the largest and oldest judicial membership organizations in the nation, the NCJFCJ serves an estimated 30,000 professionals in the juvenile and family justice system including judges, referees, commissioners, court masters and administrators, social and mental health workers, police, and probation officers. The NCJFCJ is unique as a leader in providing continuing education, technical assistance, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice.

Every year, the NCJFCJ provides more than 8,500 judges, judicial officers, attorney, and other juvenile and family court-related professionals training and technical assistance across the nation. Since 1994, the NCJFCJ has trained more than 60,000 judicial officers and other stakeholders nationwide in the handling of domestic violence.

The National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence (NJIDV) a partnership of the NCJFCJ, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women and Futures Without Violence has been in support of this act since the first VAWA grants were made. This year marks 21 years of progress and judicial leadership in reducing the impact of domestic violence on victims, their children, and their community. The NCJFCJ is proud of having a helping hand in implementing this historic act.

The NCJFCJ seeks to address the important issues of:

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Family law
  • Juvenile justice
  • Mental health
  • Military families
  • Model courts
  • Schools and justice
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic child sex trafficking
  • Tribal work and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Major NCJFCJ initiatives include:

  • Child Victims Act Model Courts Project – a network of 36 Model Courts that serve as models and mentors to jurisdictions nationwide
  • Juvenile Justice Model Courts – a network of 12 courts that seek to improve practice in delinquency cases through implementation of the Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines
  • Juvenile Treatment Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Project – working in collaboration with the Office of Justice Programs to help juvenile drug courts implement or enhance their juvenile drug courts
  • National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues – a partnership between NCJFCJ, the American Bar Association and the National Center for State Courts that delivers critical training and technical assistance to jurisdictions around the country, including NCJFCJ’s foundational judicial leadership curriculum and training evaluation guide and toolboxes
  • Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody – provides technical assistance, training, specialized resources, and policy development to a multi-disciplinary audience on child protection and child custody issues in the context of domestic violence; funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and one of 12 partners in the Domestic Violence Resource Network
  • National Center for Juvenile Justice – NCJFCJ’s research division, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., is the country’s only non-profit research organization dedicated to the juvenile justice system
  • National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence (NJIDV) – a partnership between the NCJFCJ, Futures Without Violence, and the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, provides highly interactive, skills-based domestic violence workshops for judges and judicial officers nationwide
  • Project ONE – named to signify a holistic approach to families through One Family/One Judge, No Wrong Door, and Equal and Coordinated Access to Justice, to provide judges with guidance for supporting the needs of families and children no matter which jurisdictional “door” of the courthouse they enter

The dedicated NCJFCJ staff is passionate about meeting the needs of members and those working in the field to improve justice for our nation’s most vulnerable children and families. Resources include cutting-edge training, expert technical assistance, research to assist family courts, and unique advanced degree programs for judges and other court professionals offered in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno and the National Judicial College.

This commitment has made the NCJFCJ a leader in educational opportunities, research, and policy development in the fields of juvenile and family justice. The NCJFCJ’s nearly 1,950 members hail from every state and several foreign countries. The collective voice of membership impacts law, policy, and practice nationally and in jurisdictions across the country. The power of the NCJFCJ’s community lies in its ability to foster lasting connections and share challenges and successes to find solutions and initiate change. Members play a vital role, from participating in trainings and working on committees to serving as faculty and in leadership roles in their courts and communities. Although their perspectives may differ, their goals are the same: to administer effective and enlightened justice, to rehabilitate troubled youth and their families, to protect abused and neglected children, and to be an advocate for the best interests of children, families, and victims of domestic violence.