The purpose of this document is to identify specific, essential, and successful practices identified in the sixteen years of Family Court experience in North Carolina. These best practices are based on recommendations from the Futures Commission report and grounded in the Time Standards and Evaluation documents produced by the FCAC. Time and experience with Family Courts also lend significant insight and information on best practices for implementing and operating Family Courts in North Carolina.
Ten (10) critical elements provide the framework for an efficient and effective Family Court. These elements are central to planning, designing, and implementing Family Court. The practices provide the structure and the process by which families are offered more timely court proceedings, more access to services aimed at underlying issues that have brought them into the court environment, and a more consumer-friendly approach. They are intended to be used from the time Family Courts are conceptualized and planned, through various developmental stages over a multi-year period, and through implementation. They may also be used as measures of success for existing Family Courts.