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Communication for Court Teams


Navigating communication and relationships between juvenile court professionals can be complex and challenging. Professional collaboration is recognized as an important component of non-adversarial court approaches, such as that of juvenile court. A lack of healthy team dynamics has been connected to higher turnover rates among child welfare professionals. Research has shown better teamwork is linked to increased likelihood of reunification. This video:

  • Explored the various roles and perspectives of professionals working within the juvenile court system
  • Examined the barriers to effective communication and teamwork
  • Provided attendees with practical tips to build relationships and enhance communication to improve teamwork and better serve children and families

Continuing Education Credits or Certificate of Completion

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Jamie Bahm, MS

Jamie Bahm is a Project Manager with the Nebraska Resource Project for Vulnerable Young Children at the University of Nebraska’s Center on Children, Families, and the Law. She also provides training and consultation for the Children’s Justice Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Prior to her current position, she worked for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services as the Supervisor for the Family Treatment Drug Court program, as well as specializing in casework with adjudicated youth with high behavioral health needs. Jamie earned her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees, both in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Nebraska.

Michelle Paxton, JD

Michelle Paxton received her JD from the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she served as Executive Editor for the Law Review. Ms. Paxton has served as a Deputy County Attorney in Douglas and Lancaster Counties, specializing in juvenile law, domestic violence, and general criminal prosecution. She has presented comprehensively on all aspects regarding juvenile court including the Indian Child Welfare ActTermination of Parental Rights, Expert Witness Testimony in Juvenile Court, and Observing Development in Young Children. 

Laurel Johnson, JD

Laurel Johnson received a Bachelors in Social Work/Sociology from Nebraska Wesleyan in 2009 and as part of her requirements for a BSW, she completed a practicum at Legal Aid of Nebraska under the supervision of an MSW/JD. That was her first introduction to Legal Aid. Laurel also worked as a law student clerk and eventually as a staff attorney for Legal Aid of Nebraska where she has been since 2013. She works in Juvenile Court representing youth as a GAL, youth as counsel in law violations, and representing parents in abuse and neglect cases. She has a passion for each of these roles. She primarily handles cases in front of Judge Heideman in Family Drug Court.  Laurel's other work experience includes legal clerk at Nebraska Appleseed in their Heath Care Access program, and an internship at the White House under the Obama Administration Office of Legislative Affairs. She has a passion for running and helped start a running program within a residential treatment center in Lincoln, NE where she runs with women in treatment on a weekly basis.

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