North Okaloosa Unified Family Court Chosen as Project ONE Site
The North Okaloosa County Unified Family Court has been selected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) as one of six sites nationally to participate in Project ONE, a program to maximize the effectiveness of Unified Family Courts. During Project ONE, the NCJFCJ will provide North Okaloosa County court staff and allied professionals with a guiding model, training, technical assistance, and supporting research while they examine and modify practice to maximize judicial coordination of dependency, delinquency, and family law both within and among the courts.
North Okaloosa County has been operating as a Unified Family Court since January of 2011. Judge Terrance Ketchel was assigned and has jurisdiction over all delinquency, dependency, domestic violence, and family law cases filed in north Okaloosa County. There are four primary concepts of the North Okaloosa County UFC: One Judge, One Family; Coordination and Consolidation of cases for more informed decision making; greater convenience for families; and connecting people to community resources.
Under Project ONE, the NCJFCJ envisions “an expedited and coordinated judicial system for cases involving children, youth, and families that ensures swift, fair justice and access to appropriate, supportive services to promote positive outcomes and prevent unnecessary court involvement”. North Okaloosa County’s UFC hopes to become a model to other small communities that operate under the “One Family, One Judge” model.