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Study Shows Why Quality Legal Representation is Key in Parent/Child Reunions
Last year, New York researchers determined that when parents have a child in foster care and are represented by teams of lawyers working in tandem with social workers and parent advocates, they were reunited with their child about four months sooner than those who were represented by a solo practitioner.
Bar Association Report: Funding Shifts Greatly Affect Legal Counsel for Kids, Parents
Research has shown that quality legal representation on behalf of all parties in the child welfare system improves the outcome for children and families alike. But until now, little research has been conducted on just how funding affects the ability to provide quality legal services.
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.
Reimagining Courts As Dispensers of Justice After Coronavirus
During a recent training, a judge showed us a glimpse of his future courtroom and what awaits us when juvenile courts reopen.
A plexiglass shield will separate the judge from the litigants.
Public Defender Fights Blanket Ban on Supervised Family Visits
Accusing Illinois state officials of disregarding the rights of families during the coronavirus pandemic, a top public defender has taken the extraordinary step of fighting for a temporary restraining order against the Department of Children and Family Services, which has barred most family visits.
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?”
New Funding Rule Aims to Boost Effectiveness of Legal Counsel in Dependency Cases
In late 2018, the U.S. Children’s Bureau opened up the federal tap for an oft-underfunded corner of the child welfare system: legal counsel for parents, or children, involved in dependency court cases.
California Courts Must Hold Some Child Welfare Hearings, Try to Continue In-Person Family Visits
California county courts must continue to hold hearings on cases where children are in foster care or have been placed in juvenile detention, and child welfare systems must try to facilitate in-person visits for separated families, according to new rules approved today by the California Judicial Council.
The Need for Extraordinary Efforts: Time of Crisis Reveal a System’s Values
Consider this scenario, likely to repeat itself across the country. In a month or two or more from now, my client will appear before a juvenile court judge for the first time since the coronavirus crisis forced courts to close their doors.
Child Representation Bill Heads to Wyoming’s Governor; Advocates Hope to Resurrect Parent Representation Bill in the Future
On Monday, a bill to move the Wyoming Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program out of the Office of State Public Defenders to its own entity passed its final hurdle in the state House of Representatives before heading to the governor’s desk.