April 28, 2020
The Illinois Supreme Court Judicial College (Judicial College) Committee on Guardian ad litem Education (GALE) and Committee on Judicial Education (COJE), hosted a one-hour live webcast on April 17 titled Conducting Remote Hearings in Child Protection Cases. The recorded webcast is available at https://www.pathlms.com/aoic
The course overviews the necessary requirements and important considerations for conducting remote hearings in child welfare cases. Topics included the various forms such hearings can take (phone, videoconferencing, etc.) and the challenges in conducting hearings remotely, addressing confidentiality issues, a discussion of local practices across Illinois judicial circuits, software options, and best practices for conducting remote hearings effectively in child protection cases.
“The Illinois Judicial College was created to expand educational opportunities throughout the Judicial Branch and help keep everyone prepared in changing times,” Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “The pandemic is creating change faster than expected, but this program will help provide guidance to keep the courts functioning in the essential area of child protection.”
The goal of the webcast is to outline the benefits and drawbacks of conducting hearings remotely, discuss remote hearing local practices implemented by judges presiding over child protection cases, develop strategies to implement secure and effective remote hearings in child protection proceedings.
Judges, particularly those who preside over child protection cases, Guardians ad litem, Assistant State’s Attorneys, and Parent Attorneys are anticipated to benefit the most from the webcast.
“The Illinois Judicial College stands ready to continue to provide training programs for the Illinois Judicial Branch during this unprecedented time,” said Lake County Circuit Judge Daniel B. Shanes, Chair of the Illinois Judicial College Board of Trustees. “Our Committees have worked tirelessly to identity essential areas of need and quickly create webcasts to meet those needs.”
The Judicial College, established in 2016, serves as the primary vehicle for the planning, development, and provision of all educational programs and training on behalf of the Supreme Court. The Judicial College previously held COVID-19 related webcasts for Probation and Court Services on April 9, for Circuit Clerks on March 27, and for all court staff on March 19. These webcasts are available for viewing at www.pathlms.com/aoic.
The COJE Committee, consisting of 28 members who are all Illinois judges, delivers education and training for all Illinois judges, including identifying issues that may impact decision making and court administration by Illinois judges.
The GALE Committee provides continuing education for Guardians ad litem, including identifying opportunities to enhance the effective and efficient administration of justice. It consists of 14 members with two parent attorneys, one public defender, one private attorney, one prosecutor, one Illinois Department of Children and Family Services representative, three guardians ad litem from the Office of the Cook County Office of Public Guardian in the first appellate district, four guardians ad litem from the four remaining appellate districts representing various areas of expertise, and three judges.