Court Improvement Program
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia established the West Virginia Court Improvement Program Oversight Board in 1995, which took over the Broadwater Committee’s work to improve outcomes for children and families in child abuse and neglect cases. The Court established the Broadwater Committee in the mid-1990s during Chief Justice Margaret Workman’s previous tenure on the Supreme Court, which was from 1988 to 1999.
The Court Improvement Program Board was created as a result of the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. That act designated federal funding beginning in fiscal year 1995 for grants to state court systems to conduct assessments of their foster case laws and judicial processes and to develop and implement a plan for system improvement. The Oversight Board is the advisory group and task force to implement the program in West Virginia, and it continues to obtain federal grant funding every year. Judge Gary Johnson of the Twenty-Eight Judicial Circuit (Nicholas County) chairs the board.
Court Improvement Program Oversight Board member list
Seven subcommittees assist the Oversight Board:
- Behavioral Health, chaired by Judge Louis “Duke” Bloom of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (Kanawha County)
- Child Protection Across Court Systems, chaired by Family Court Judge Mary Ellen Griffith of the Twelfth family Court Circuit (McDowell and Mercer Counties)
- Data, Statutes, and Rules, chaired by Judge Derek Swope of the Ninth Judicial Circuit (Mercer County)
- Federal Review, chaired by Judge Derek Swope of the Ninth Judicial Circuit (Mercer County)
- Multidisciplinary Treatment Team Study, chaired by Sue Hage of the Bureau for Children and Families
- Training, co-chaired by Judge Gary Johnson of the Twenty-Eight Judicial Circuit (Nicholas County) and Senior Status Judge Robert Stone of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit (Monongalia County)
- Youth Services, chaired by Judge Christopher C. Wilkes of the Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit.
Court Improvement Program Grants
The Court Improvement Program in West Virginia currently receives three federal grants, which are matched with state funds. They are referred to as the “Basic," “Training," and “Data Collection” grants.
Projects funded by Basic grants include
- Assessment of interstate placements,
- Development of drug screening protocol,
- Judicial Benchbook for Abuse and Neglect Proceedings,
- Timely and complete court orders,
- Court rules,
- Judge-led stakeholder meetings, and
- Assessment of overlap rules.
Projects funded by Training grants include
- Judicial Leadership Roundtables,
- Re-evaluation and updating of Multi-Disciplinary Treatment Team (MDT) Training,
- Annual CASA Training Conference,
- Cross-training on basic and advanced topics and judicial education, and
- Training for court and legal professionals on form-generating software.
Data Collection Grants
Projects funded by Data Collection grants include
- Creation of uniform case plans in electronic formats, and
- Electronic case tracking.
For more information about the Court Improvement Program, contact
Director, Division of Children's Services
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Capitol Building 1, Room E-100
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-0145 (main) or 340-3452 (direct)
Fax: (304) 558-0775