The Supreme Court of Missouri has recognized the 25th Judicial Circuit for timely processing cases impacting children during fiscal year 2022. The 25th Circuit Presiding Judge William E. Hickle presented the award at the Circuit Court en Banc meeting held Friday, May 5. 

The Permanency Award recognizes the leadership and hard work of judges, juvenile officers, clerks, children’s division workers, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and other support staff to protect children who have been abused or neglected. The time standards, established in 2006, apply to certain types of hearings in cases in which children are removed from their homes. They are intended to help provide stability for the children by ensuring they are reunited with their families or placed in another permanent home as soon as possible.

“When children are abused or neglected by the adults in their lives, they rely on our Missouri courts to find them a safe, stable and permanent home as quickly as possible,” Missouri Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson said. “I am proud of the efforts of these circuits in prioritizing the pressing needs of these vulnerable children.” 

Collectively, the state’s courts completed 94 percent of these critical abuse and neglect hearings on time. This is impressive, as the number of required hearings last year exceeded pre-pandemic numbers. In comparison, the 25th Judicial Circuit (Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Texas counties) completed 100 percent of its hearings on time. This is the 15th time the circuit has earned the Permanency Award. 

Judge Hickle, said, “It’s a privilege to work with a team of conscientious professionals who year after year provide exceptional assistance to children and youth in their time of need.”  Hickle continued, “Our judges, including Associate Circuit Judges Kerry Rowden of Maries County, Michael Headrick and Colin Long of Pulaski County, Mark Calvert and Ken Clayton of Phelps County, and Brad Eidson of Texas County, along with Circuit Judges John Beger and I, are thankful for the combined efforts of those who work in our justice system.  This includes the juvenile officers led by Kevin Breeden, children’s division staff, clerks, attorneys and CASA advocates.”  Hickle added, “I think this teamwork helps explain why our circuit continues to earn the Permanency Award.”

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply