Children's Justice Project

  • Eydie Trautwein, J.D.

  • Wyoming Supreme Court
  • 2301 Capitol Avenue
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Voice: 307.777.7629
  • FAX: 307.777.3447

Data and CQI

Blog Talk Radio

CJP Training Series: A 1-hour Monthly Wyoming Juvenile Court System training.

Overview and History

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the Wyoming Supreme Court a court grant in July 1999. The purpose of the grant is to assess and improve the juvenile court system's process involving Wyoming’s most vulnerable population—abused and neglected children. In October 1999, the Supreme Court appointed an advisory council consisting of judges, attorneys, a representative from the Department of Family Services, a foster care alumna, and other professionals involved in the child protection system.

A Handbook for Educators
Guardians AdLitem Skills-­Based Handbook
A Handbook For Children
Bear Goes to Court

Guidelines for Parent Attorneys
Handbook for Parents

How A Child Enters the System
Justice for Children

Legal Resource Manual
MDT Handbook
Your Rights
Juvenile Court Law Update 2004-2014

Neglect Hearing Checklists

The following Neglect Hearing Checklists are intended to assist judges, county attorneys, guardians ad litem, parents' attorneys and caseworkers comply with the letter and spirit of the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act. A long and short version of each checklist can be downloaded by clicking on the icon below. In order to provide resources that are useful to judges, attorneys and caseworkers, please provide us your comments on how we can improve the checklists. We will continually assess the need to revise the checklists based on comments received and any changes made to federal or state law.


May 14, 2015 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Topic: Understanding ICPC and ICJ Interstate Compacts

Presenters: Jill Kucera, Esq. Senior Assistant Attorney General, Human Services, Wyoming Attorney General's Office and Maureen Clifton, Deputy Compact Administrator and Social Services Program Analyst, Wyoming Department of Family Services will present an overview of two compacts that Wyoming has adopted: the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ). This presentation will clarify many misconceptions about these Compacts, especially the ICPC. The presenters will address the law and regulations governing these compacts including their purpose, eligibility, circumstances when they apply and required submissions. Maureen Clifton will review the forms required for submission, which will be included in the handouts. The audience will learn about when the ICPC and ICJ Compacts apply, how to and where to file submission forms, and what to do if their request is denied by the other state.

Click here for Episode

April 9, 2015 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Topic: Right to a Jury Trial in Wyoming Child Protection and Termination of Parental Rights Cases

Presenters: Cindi Wood, J.D., C.W.L.S., an attorney in private practice in Casper, Kevin David Taheri, J.D. an Assistant District Attorney, Seventh Judicial District Attorney's Office, and Christina McCabe, J.D., a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Wyoming Attorney General's Office, Human Services Division will present an overview of the law relating to the parent's right to demand a jury trial at the adjudication stage of a child abuse/neglect case and at a termination of parental rights case. They will talk about the law governing jury trials including the statues and rules including time and filing requirements. The will refer to the work being done on the Wyoming Juvenile Pattern Jury Instructions and the many procedural issues one needs to address when there is a jury trial. The audience will learn about the distinction between a bench and jury trial, factors to be considered when determining whether to demand a jury trial for their client and tips from judges on best practices when conducting a jury trial.

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February 12, 2015 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Topic: View from a Parent's Attorney

Presenter: Tim Cotton, Esq., a parent's attorney from Casper, Wyoming, will present an overview of his advocacy on behalf of parents when appointed to represent them in child abuse/neglect and termination of parental rights cases in Wyoming. He will talk about what a parent attorney does from the time of appointment through the various stages of the case to its conclusion. The outcomes range from the child's reunification with his/her parents to termination of parental rights. He will address his various approaches, alternating between an adversarial role to team building role depending on the stage of the case: Shelter Care hearing, Review hearings, Permanency hearings and the Termination of Parental Rights hearing. The audience will learn about 1) the ethical and legal responsibilities of the attorney representing the parents in these cases; 2) what to expect at the various stages; 3) the reasons for the various strategies; and 4) approaches and how they impact the course of the case and strive to achieve the best outcomes for the family.

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January 8, 2015 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Topic: Wyoming's CFSR Reviews and CQI Activities (2015-2016)

Presenters: Elizabeth Forslund and Clint Hanes from the Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) will provide an overview of Wyoming's Child and Family Service Reviews (CFSRs) and CQI activities planned in 2015 through 2016. The presentation will include an overview of federal requirements related to CFSRs, a detailed look at the new CFSR instrument and themes emerging from initial Wyoming reviews. The presenters will provide CFSR tips and information for judges, attorneys, Guardians ad Litem, CASAs and case workers, as all activities conducted in a child welfare case are reviewed as part of the CFSR process. Eydie Trautwein, Children's Justice Project Coordinator, will also provide an overview of CJP CQI activities and statewide data trends.

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December 11, 2014 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Topic: Dispositional Hearings 101

Presenters: Aaron S. Hockman, J.D., Chief Trial and Appellate Counsel for the Wyoming Guardian ad Litem Division, will provide a presentation on dispositional hearings in Wyoming's juvenile court, including an overview of relevant Wyoming statutes and procedures related to these important hearings. The presentation will provide basic information on procedural and evidentiary processes specific to disposition hearings in abuse and neglect, Child in Need of Supervision (CHINS) and delinquency cases.

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November 13, 2014 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Topic: Special Education Issues in Child Welfare Cases

Presenters: Dan Wilde, J.D., Wyoming Guardian ad Litem Division will provide a presentation on important special education issues in child welfare cases, such as child-find and continuous evaluations. This presentation will include an overview of relevant laws affecting the education of foster care youth, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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Date: October 9, 2014 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Topic: 2014 Child Welfare Law Update: Wyoming Supreme Court decisions and Statutes

Presenters: Jill E. Kucera, J.D., Senior Assistant Attorney General, Wyoming Attorney General's Office will provide a review of recent Wyoming Supreme Court decisions and 2014 statutes that affect Wyoming children and their families.

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Please join us for future BlogTalk episodes occurring between November, 2014 — May, 2015

Archived BlogTalk Topics

BlogTalkRadio Trainings prior to October, 2014 are categorized under the following training topics


The Wyoming Children's Justice Project (CJP) announces the availability of scholarships for district court judges and/or attorneys who prosecute or accept court appointments to represent children or parents in child abuse and neglect (non-criminal), child in need of supervision, and termination of parental rights cases. These scholarships are intended to encourage judges and attorneys to attend national conferences that focus upon child welfare, juvenile, and family law. The scholarships may cover registration fees and reimbursement of airfare, lodging, meals and other travel expenses. Attorneys approved for scholarships must contribute at least 25% of the conference expenses, and agree to share the information learned with other attorneys and/or others working or volunteering in the juvenile court system.


Strategic Plan


Name / Title Capacity City Term Expiration
Hon. William U. Hill, Chair
Wyoming Supreme Court Cheyenne 06/30/2018
Kerri Bumgardner
Uinta County District Court Clerk
District Court Clerk Evanston 06/30/2018
Sheryl Bunting
Deputy County and Prosecuting Attorney, Sheridan County
Prosecutor Sheridan 06/30/2017
Steve Corsi
Director, Wyoming Department of Family Services
Wyoming Department of Family Services Cheyenne 06/30/2017
Hon. Steven Cranfill
District Court Judge, 5th Judicial District
District Court Judge Cody 06/30/2017
Hon. Floyd Esquibel
Senator, Wyoming State Senate
Wyoming State Senate Cheyenne 06/30/2016
Hon. John G. Fenn
District Court Judge, 4th Judicial District
District Court Judge Sheridan 06/30/2016
Michelle Heinen
UPLIFT, Parent Advocate
Parent Advocate Cheyenne 06/30/2018
Hon. Nena R. James
District Court Judge, 3rd Judicial District
District Court Judge Green River 06/30/2016
Jill Kucera
Senior Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General or designee Cheyenne 06/30/2016
Kristie Langley
DFS Senior Policy / Legal Analyst
Department of Family Services Cheyenne 06/30/2017
Dona Playton
University of Wyoming, College of Law
Parent Attorney Cheyenne 06/30/2017
Miguel Reyes
Wyoming Advocates for Youth
Child Advocate Cheyenne 06/30/2017
Ryan Roden
Deputy State Public Defender
Wyoming State Public Defender or designee Cheyenne 06/30/2018
Terri V. Smith
Tribal Representative (enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe) Lander 06/30/2018
Bill Stanton
Casey Family Programs
Foster Care Service Provider or designee Kernville 06/30/2017
Hon. Mary Throne
Representative, Wyoming State House of Representatives
Wyoming State House of Representatives Cheyenne 06/30/2016
Carol Tullio
CASA of Laramie County
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Cheyenne 06/30/2018
Stephen Weichman
Teton County & Prosecuting Attorney
WY County Prosecuting Attorneys' Association Jackson 06/30/2018
Dan Wilde
Director, GAL Program
Guardians ad Litem Cheyenne 06/30/2016
Hon. Norman E. Young
District Court Judge, 9th Judicial District
District Court Judge Lander 06/30/2017
Lily Sharpe
State Court Administrator, Ex-Officio Member
Supreme Court Administrator Cheyenne 06/30/2017
Children's Justice Project

Children's Justice Project - The Golden Award

In 2008, the Wyoming Supreme Court Children's Justice Project established the Excellence Award to recognize an individual involved in the child welfare system who has made significant contributions to the system and is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. The award is presented each year at the Children's Justice Conference. Nominations for the award are solicited statewide. The Award Selection Committee is comprised of past award recipients. In 2014, the Excellence Award was renamed after Justice Michael Golden (the 2014 Excellence Award recipient) and is now referred to as the Justice Michael Golden Award or the "Golden Award".

Past Awardees:
  • 2015 Judge Steven Cranfill
  • 2014 Justice Michael Golden
  • 2012 Brenden McKinney
  • 2011 Jean Day
  • 2010 Rick Robb
  • 2009 Stacey Obrecht
  • 2008 Dan Wilde