The Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (TCJFCJ) was created by the Tennessee General Assembly through legislation that became effective July 1, 1982. TCJFCJ is the official organization of Tennessee judges having juvenile court jurisdiction. For over forty years prior to enactment of that legislation the Council existed as an informal association of juvenile court judges. Throughout its history the Council has represented juvenile court judges and court staff, providing an independent voice with regard to issues affecting children, youth, families and communities.
The Council meets semi-annually for consideration of matters pertaining to the discharge of the official duties and obligations of its members. To ensure the efficient and prompt administration of justice in the juvenile courts of Tennessee, the Council promotes best court practices and a better understanding of the problems and needs of the dependent and neglected, unruly and delinquent children coming before the courts. The Council strives to maximize and enhance the court’s resources and legal options in meeting the needs of children and families and providing protection to the community.
TCJFCJ, as of April 2005, became a part of the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Staff serving TCJFCJ includes the AOC’s general counsel, a juvenile court services coordinator, and a juvenile data collection team. TCJFCJ publishes annual statistical reports on the activities and workloads of the state’s juvenile courts. This data is provided to TCJFCJ by the courts and the clerks of the courts as set out in Tennessee Code Annotated 37-1-506.
Further, the office provides numerous training opportunities to judicial officers and court staff, a vital component of the juvenile court. TCJFCJ is grateful to receive the juvenile justice training grant from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, through which we provide educational opportunities to juvenile court judges, their staff and the various agencies serving children and families across Tennessee.
Services of the TCJFCJ
- Represents the 98 courts with juvenile court jurisdiction in the state's 95 counties.
- Provides 12 to 15 hours of continuing legal education annually to juvenile court judicial officers on specific juvenile justice related topics.
- Provides a 48.5 hour basic juvenile justice training core curriculum course annually to 25-30 new juvenile court staff.
- Provides 2 to 3 in-depth training seminars annually to enhance juvenile court professionals' knowledge regarding youth, family dynamics and legal and social intervention services.
- Provides technical assistance to judicial officers and court staff.
- Collects case referral and dispositional data from all of the state's juvenile courts and publishes an annual statistical report.
- Responds to ad-hoc requests for statistical data and provides data and information to federal, state and local governments as well as other organizations and individuals.
- Responds to questions from the public and provides information or refers the party to the appropriate entity.
- Represents the Council by serving on a number of interagency committees.
- Monitors legislation and informs the courts of changes in the law related to juvenile court jurisdiction.
- Provides statistical data to TCCY and annual updates that enables draw down of federal JJDP funds.