Legislators receive update from Family Court Judge Kim Seager

by Carol Thompson

Following numerous complaints in regard to Oswego County Family Court decisions rendered by Judge Kim Seager, members of the Oswego County Legislature received a letter from Seager as to the status of Oswego County Child Welfare Court Collaborative.

“As you know, Oswego County was identified as one of 17 counties in New York State that failed to meet Federally-mandated guidelines,” the letter, dated Sept. 24 states.

“As a result, the Collaborative was formed in early 2010 as part of a statewide initiative to develop and implement best practices and system change in order to improve outcomes for children and families involved in abuse and neglect proceedings,” the letter continues. “However, without all necessary partners represented at the Collaborative table, ethically I am unable to convene these meetings and we have been informed by the State that Oswego County will no longer have an opportunity to participate in this initiative.”

The letter continues, “As this time (sic), I want to thank each and every one of you for your commitment, time and hard work towards improving permanency for children. Due to your participation, the Collaborative was able to develop a Mission Statement, identify goals and tasks to be work on by four subcommittees to accomplish the stated mission, offer monthly court-based training through a lunch-n-learn program as regional training provided by the Court Improvement Project, improve the court process through problems identified after completion of two court surveys, discuss and resolve legal issues, and provide improved multi-system collaboration through focus groups.”

Seager concluded, “I want to assure you that the Court will continue to work internally to improve legal processing of child welfare matters to improve outcomes for the children in Oswego County.”

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