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Baby Court Pilot Project

In conjunction with the Wayne County Juvenile Court, the CFA is now participating in a groundbreaking initiative to improve the lives of families in the Detroit region. The Safe Start Initiative, begun in Florida's Miami-Dade County and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, incorporates infant mental health services and parenting-skills training into reunification plans for wards of the juvenile court who have experienced neglect. Eligible parents, aged 16 to 24 years, and their children, aged 0 to 3 years, participate in intensive one-on-one therapy with a trained psychologist to improve the parent-child bond and move toward reunification. By participating in the Safe Start Initiative as legal representatives for the parents, the CFA is able to further its dual mission of preserving families and promoting permanent homes for children in foster care through an innovative program. The CFA's role is to ensure that the mental health services take place in a timely manner and are appropriately tailored to each family's particular needs and goals. See this article for more information about the program.