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What Defines Success for Child Welfare Lawyers?
A year ago, I received an unexpected message on Facebook. It read: “Man we miss you how have u been. We were so devastated when u left.”
Of course my curiosity compelled me to respond immediately.
Can We Walk You Home?
Throughout the evening, the three brothers described to me the years of abuse they experienced in foster care. They were made to stand in the corner of rooms for hours. They were forced to clean every dish in the house, if one was dirty.
A Crisis Reveals the Need to Modernize Juvenile Courts
This week, I received word that many courts – including the juvenile court in which I practice – were closing. That is, for the indefinite future, my court would not be holding any hearings, other than emergency hearings, to address whether a child needs to be removed for their immediate safety.
In Court, Children are Unseen and Unheard
My 16-year old client – a young woman who had already spent several years in foster care – just wanted to share her story in court. She hoped to tell the judge the ways in which group home staff were mistreating her.
Your Crisis Can Wait Until Noon
The teenage boy stared at the judge, with a face struggling to hide its emotion but clearly displaying sadness. For weeks, he had been staying at a residential foster care facility and had been getting in trouble.
The Outdated Way We Think About Relationships in Child Welfare
At a recent meeting I attended, a foster parent described her role as being a “co-parent” with the birth parent to raise a child in foster care. That is, she envisioned that her job was to temporarily help care for the child – with the birth parent – while doing everything in her power to support efforts to reunify the family.
Michigan Quietly Embraces Unlicensed Kinship Caregivers
In 2003, I was assigned to represent five young children in foster care who had been placed in a group home in Maryland. During my first visit with them, they told me how much they wanted to live with their grandmother, a delightful, gregarious woman with a big smile who was deemed appropriate by everyone who met her.
I’m Sorry We Failed You
I turned on my computer to start my day’s work when a reminder popped up on my screen. Today marked the birthday of Alonzo, a child I had represented many years back when he was a 9-year old child in foster care.
Ginsburg’s Child Welfare Legacy: Attention to Parental Rights
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had many gifts, one of which was using language to convey the harsh impact of the law on those living on the margins. Consider her words in M.L.B.