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

Public Comment Form       Remote Participation Form        Sign Up For Email Notifications

Meeting information

Task Force meetings are open to the public.
All meetings are streamed and archived under the "Watch & Listen" tab of the site.

Next Meeting 

July 19, 2024
Time TBD
Capitol Room TBD & Zoom

July 19, 2024

Draft agenda and meeting materials will be posted when available. 


September 12, 2024


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)




1. Court System Costs and Related Fiscal Information Update

3. Dependency and Neglect Prosecution Considerations

4. Office of Child and Family Ombudsman Responsibilities and Services

5. Meeting Minutes


Audio / Video

Presentation by Kelly Driscoll, OPD

Presentation by Nikki Grossberg, DPHHS-CFSD

Public Comment

Meeting Minutes

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