Montana State Legislature
Court System for Dependency & Neglect Task Force
Senate Bill 182 established the Task Force on the Dependency and Neglect Court System to determine whether a separate dependency and neglect court system or the existing court system, with enhancements, would best serve children, families, and other participants involved in dependency and neglect court proceedings.
This webpage is the official repository of task information, including presentation aids, documents, meeting minutes, and exhibits.
This task force focuses on the dependency and neglect court system. To express concerns regarding other child welfare issues, please submit comment to the Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee.
Task Force meetings are open to the public.
All meetings are streamed and archived under the "Watch & Listen" tab of the legmt.gov site.
Future Meeting Dates:
January 16, 2024
March 14, 2024
May 8, 2024
July 18, 2024
September 12, 2024
Date: January 16, 2024
Location: State Capitol, Room 137
Agenda: – sign up for email notifications to receive an alert when materials are posted.
Meeting Materials (October 25, 2023):
- SB 182
- District Court Overview
- 2023 NCSL Family-Friendly Courts Presentation
- Meeting Minutes
Committee members are appointed in accordance with SB 182 section 1, subsection (2).
- Senator Dennis Lenz (chair)
- Senator Ellie Boldman (vice chair)
- Representative Jennifer Carlson
- Representative SJ Howell
- Judge Rienne McElyea – district court judge appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court
- Jessica Finley – Missoula County Deputy Attorney (a county attorney or their representative)
- Jon Kadner – law enforcement officer
- Rachel Green – Health Care Policy Advisor, Governor’s Office (representative from the governor’s office)
- Wamnee Ereaux – tribal member with experience relating to the Indian Child Welfare Act
- Jennifer Owen – a member of the public experienced with the dependency and neglect court system
- Kelly Driscoll – Family Defense Bureau Chief, Office of State Public Defender (representative of the office of state public defender)
- Nikki Grossberg – Child and Family Services Administrator, Department of Public Health and Human Services (representative of the department of public health and human services)