Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Childcare at the Courthouse - What a Brilliant Idea

That is what I thought reading Multnomah CourtCare: A great service and a worthy cause from The Oregon Divorce Blog. I do not know of any county providing this kind of service within the swath of Indiana I practice family law. It would be as useful here as in Oregon.

...CourtCare is a free service providing drop in child care to family law litigants at the Multnomah County Courthouse. CourtCare opened in 2001, and has benefited over 6000 children since that time. Children are spared witnessing their parents in court, and the children receive individual attention from state-certified childcare providers.

While CourtCare receives some public funding, it is primarily funded through donations from the legal community, which contributes through the Multnomah Bar Foundation. They are having a fundraising campaign themed “A Jungle Gym in the Jungle” from April 21 to May 9, 2008. More information about this excellent program and worthy cause can be found at www.mbabar.org/MBA_courcare.htm


Anne Reed said...

Sam, thanks so much for posting this. It should be an inspiration in many jurisdictions, and it's a real service to pass it on.

Steven Ballard said...

Sam, thanks for this post. In Massachusetts, until a few years ago, we had daycare provided right inside the family courthouses, but state budget cuts put an end to that. Now once again, we sometimes have poor litigants coming into court with their babies or children, only to be ushered out into the courtroom hallway, as judges do not generally allow children to be present in the courtroom.

Sam Hasler said...

We have the same problem with judges in Indiana and I can sympathize. Our local courts record all proceedings (they are now saved on CD's). Small children crying in the courtroom do not much good for the record. On the other hand, they do not need to see the stress put on parties to find and pay for a babysitter. I sincerely believe that this is a great idea but we will find budget problems just as with Massachusetts