The Lawyer Illusion in Child Welfare Court
Too often, judges assume that the mere presence of legal counsel for parents in child welfare court means the system wasn't making mistakes.


What Child Welfare Can Learn from ‘Rewiring’

Fifteen months ago, we set out to test a proposition: That with a modest injection of flexible prevention money, and thoughtful approaches to rethinking some decision-making, we could turn a child welfare system into a family well-being system. 


A Return to The ‘Use of Self’
Child welfare consultant Paul DiLorenzo

In the world of family support and prevention programming, we are hearing a great deal about the inclusion of people with lived experiences. It has appeared on our radar screens as if it is a new concept or an innovation unique to this moment.


America Must Change Its View of Poverty and Neglect
Illustration by Christine Ongjoco

The child welfare system plays a conflicted role in our society’s history. It exists in a world of competing values and basic societal assumptions. Was it developed as a way to “save” children from abuse and neglect or as a means to “control families?”


Staying The Course for Families
Jerry Milner, associate commissioner of the U.S. Children’s Bureau during the Trump Administration. Photo courtesy of Milner

As a child welfare social worker for a few decades now, serving as the leader of the U.S.


If Adoption and Safe Families Act Can’t Be Repealed, Here’s How to At Least Make it Better

A new memorandum from the federal government’s top child welfare leaders argues that the field has been getting one of its most important goals — permanency — all wrong. After examining the latest research — including new analyses of federal data conducted by the U.S.


Raising Our Standards by Raising the Minimum Age

As a public defender working in Greensboro, North Carolina, I had hundreds of clients over the years. While some of the oldest clients I had were riddled with health issues and long histories of mental illness, some of my youngest clients hardly even knew what was going on. 


Foster Youth Deserve a Seat at the Table

I have been in foster care since I was 16. In that time, I have served as a “youth voice” on youth advisory boards (YABs) for among others, my agency, Heartshare St.


Abolition Movement is Right on Racism, But Not on Parsing Abuse and Neglect

On Jan. 13, federal authorities carried out the execution of Lisa Montgomery, who was convicted in 2007 of killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Stinnett was pregnant, but her baby survived the brutal attack.