Juvenile Court Partnership

  • This Partnership has a rich history that began in the 1980s. The Court and CSULA officials and the county created this innovative learning resource as an adjunct to the Edelman Children’s Court.
  • The initial goals of shared training, measuring the effectiveness of court inventions, and exploring continuing education launched the Partnership.
  • Now the Partnership is committed to providing educational experiences (internships) for students, providing opportunities for cross-training and education and helping the court measure and evaluate its interventions.
  • We hold an annual conference that brings together professionals in child welfare, juvenile justice, law, health, education, probation, and community organizations.

Once the Partnership was formally approved by the Board of Supervisors:

  • A steering committee was convened in 1990; this group technically oversees the Partnership and meets three times a year. The steering committee consists of representatives from the Juvenile Dependency Court and the CSULA faculty members who have expertise in child maltreatment and family violence. That group continues to meet three times a year. The steering committee also contains the Advisory Committee for the Child Abuse and Family Violence Institute.
  • One benefit that emerged from this Partnership was the creation of the CSULA Child Abuse and Family Violence Institute. In 1990, this Institute began serving as an educational resource for interdisciplinary education and multidisciplinary professional training and consultation. The Institute also coordinates the various aspects of the Partnership on the CSULA campus.

At CSULA, the Partnership has three distinct components, headed by specific faculty members with expertise in child maltreatment and family violence:

  • Internship and Training and Overall Director Led by Colleen Friend, Ph.D., Director, Child Abuse and Family Violence Institute, this component is responsible for student placement, training exchanges between the organizations, maintenance of the resource center and general coordination. Students who obtain the Child Maltreatment and Family Violence certificate complete an internship at the Juvenile Court.
  • Research Led by Mitchell Eisen, Ph.D., Director, Forensic Psychology, this component is responsible for encouraging and assisting faculty (and their students) with the complexities of research approvals in both agencies. Dr. Eisen initially coordinated activities and resources for “Court Scholars” who were attending CSULA after emancipating from the child welfare system. The CSULA Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) has now taken over that function. They actively support students with information, specific guidance and ongoing recognition of their accomplishments.
  • Conference Initially led by Hershel Swinger, Ph.D., this component is responsible for the annual conference known as the New Beginning for Partnerships for Children and Families in L.A. County. This last conference was its sixteenth year of operation. This interdisciplinary conference presents the latest research in juvenile justice and child welfare. Dr. Swinger died in 2012. The conference held on September 11, 2014 was renamed as the Dr. Hershel Swinger Memorial Partnership Conference. The next conference is planned for September 17, 2015.