This final report presents findings of NCJJ's Arizona Court Improvement Project, which examined AZ's juvenile court handling of abuse and neglect, dependency, and severance cases. The five selected county sites included juvenile courts in Cochise, La Paz, Maricopa and Pima Counties and the General Division of the Superior Court in Coconino County. Research concludes that juvenile courts in the selected counties comply, for the most part, with federal and state statutory requirements in their handling of dependency and severance cases. Interview and hearing observations also affirm that all parties to these proceedings are very concerned with the plight of AZ's victimized children and recognize the importance of judicial oversight in achieving permanent solutions to these cases. However, the research found that the quality of judicial proceedings on dependency and severance cases are generally less timely and comprehensive than those reflective of a 'high-quality judicial process' as set forth in NCJFCJ's Resource Guidelines.
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