Safe Baby Court Team

Transforming the Experience of Infants & Toddlers in Ohio's Child Welfare System

In 2020, Groundwork Ohio and the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio entered a unique partnership to to expand the Safe Babies Court Team™ (SBCT) approach in Ohio through standing up infant-toddler court teams in Cuyahoga, Montgomery, and Scioto counties under the leadership of Judge Kristin Sweeney, Judge Helen Wallace and Judge Alan Lemons respectively. The work is funded by a one-year, $425,000 State Expansion Grant from ZERO TO THREE, a national leader whose mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. The organizations have engaged Cindy Oser, recently retired as Director of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at ZERO TO THREE to serve as the Statewide Coordinator for the grant.

Our Mission

The Ohio Infant-Toddler Court Team Expansion Project intends to transform the experience of infants and toddlers and their families involved in the court system so that they can be safe, loved and thrive, and to enable communities to be non-adversarial, racially, and culturally equitable, and collaborative as they address the problems that interfere with the health and well-being of children and families. 

Our Vision

We will create a future where all families have the capacities, resources, and supports to care for and nurture their children.

Implementing Our Approach

In order to successfully implement this approach, we have organized a group of leading experts to be a part of the Ohio Infant-Toddler Court Team State Advisory Group. This group meets quarterly to address gaps and barriers families and courts face as they implement this program in hopes that this program will be implemented statewide in the near future. The group is comprised of leaders from the following organizations:

  • Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio

  • County Commissioners Association of Ohio

  • Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court

  • Governor Mike DeWine’s Office of Children’s Initiatives

  • Groundwork Ohio

  • Linking Systems of Care Program, Ohio Domestic Violence Network 

  • Lucas County Juvenile Court

  • MomsFirst Fatherhood Coordinator 

  • Montgomery County Juvenile Court

  • Ohio Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

  • Ohio CASA/GAL Association

  • Ohio Chapter - American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Ohio Children’s Alliance

  • Ohio Children's Trust Fund

  • Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

  • Ohio Department of Education

  • Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Maternal, Child, and Family Health

  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

  • Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Office of Families and Children

  • Ohio National Association of Social Workers

  • Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma)

  • Ohio Supreme Court

  • Public Children Services Association of Ohio

  • Scioto County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETINGS:

Additional Meeting Materials


Implementation Timeline




November 17, 2020


On November 17th, ZERO TO THREE hosted an Infant-Toddler Court Team Program Orientation/Kick-Off Meeting for the Ohio Expansion Project to become more familiar with the approach. You can view the recording of the meeting here.




June 2, 2021


Stay tuned!




September 1, 2021


Stay tuned!





 

LEARN MORE & GET INVOLVED:

ITCT State Team Staff:


  • Julia Jackels
    Statewide Coordinator, Ohio Infant-Toddler Court Team Expansion Project
    Email Julia >
  • Kelsey Hopkins
    Assistant Project Coordinator, Ohio Infant-Toddler Court Team Expansion Project
    Email Kelsey >




Local ITCT Sites:


Cuyahoga County
Delaney L. Jones, MSSA, LSW
Community Coordinator, Safe Babies Court Team Cuyahoga County
Email Delaney >
Access Cuyahoga County Healthy Baby Court Brochure >
Access Cuyahoga County SBCT Kick-Off Event Recording > Lucas County Tasha Lothery, LSW, MSW • Lucas County Juvenile Court
Healthy Baby Court Coordinator Email Tasha > Access Lucas County Healthy Baby Court Brochure > Montgomery County
Kelly Walker Smith • Montgomery County Juvenile Court
Safe Babies Court Team Community Coordinator
Email Kelly >

Scioto County
Jordan Davis • Scioto County Juvenile Court
Community Coordinator – Infant Toddler Court Program
Email Jordan >