legal counsel

Youth Services Insider
Mimi Laver, director of legal representation projects for the American Bar Association.


Mimi Laver to Lead Child Representation in Philadelphia

After a long career leading family representation policy for the American Bar Association, Mimi Laver is returning to Philadelphia.

Judges in “Kids for Cash” Scandal Must Compensate Families, Court Decides


Campaign Pushes for Children and Parents’ Right to Quality Legal Counsel

A campaign is underway to extend the right to an attorney to children and parents nationwide caught up in the child welfare system.

Youth Services Insider


Senate Bill May Require Legal Counsel for Parents, Children in Child Welfare Cases

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions approved a bill that could provide the first federal requirement of legal counsel to parents and children in child welfare cases, though there appeared to be some discussion of further negotiations on that before a vote of the full Senate.

Youth Services Insider


Iowa Law to Test the Benefit of Early Legal Help in Child Welfare Cases

Iowa aims to find out if giving families in crisis early access to lawyers would improve outcomes, rather than being assigned a public defender only after a child is removed and enters the foster care system. 

Vivek Sankaran.


In Child Welfare Cases, Just Any Old Lawyer Won’t Do

During a virtual town hall last week, parents asked gut-wrenching questions to child welfare leadership. “When can I see my kids again?” “I was having unsupervised visits with them. Why can’t they come live with me?”


Injustice Without Objection

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading transcripts from child protective hearings. Hundreds of pages of transcripts. I’ve seen examples of clear legal errors. I’ve read many lines of parents’ lawyers grumbling and complaining.

    Administration for Children's Services Commissioner David Hansell said they'd seen no indicators of an increase in undetected child abuse during the pandemic.


    New York City Debates Lawyering Up Parents Early in Child Safety Investigations

    The New York City Council is considering a new frontier in establishing rights for parents accused of child abuse and neglect, over objections from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and child protective caseworkers.

    Vivek Sankaran.


    To Have Impact, Laws Must Be Enforced. Appellate Lawyers Help Do Just That.

    Each fall, students in the University of Michigan Law School’s Child Welfare Appellate Clinic represent parents in termination of parental rights (TPR) appeals. We don’t cherry pick our cases for ones we’re likely to win.


    Report Card Shows Legal Counsel for Foster Youth is Improving

    There is much work left to do, but the number of states that fail to legally support children in child welfare cases has significantly declined in the past decade. These are the findings of the fourth iteration of A Child’s Right to Counsel, the periodic national report card on counsel for children published in partnership with the First Star Institute and the Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI).