Families Deserve Better and We Can Do Better

In the United States, every day approximately 740 children are removed from their families with the goal of keeping them safe. Despite a system of federal and state laws designed to support family reunification, over 400,000 children never return to their homes or parents.

Despite the rights at stake in child welfare cases, many children and parents lack any, or adequate, legal representation.

In 2016, Casey Family Programs, the ABA Center on Children and the Law, and the Children’s Law Center of California brought together parents’ attorneys, children’s attorneys, and child welfare experts from around the country to discuss legal representation in child welfare cases. This group launched the Family Justice Initiative with one unified goal:

To ensure every child and every parent has high-quality legal representation when child welfare courts make life-changing decisions about their families.

FJI’s vision is that children will not be damaged by the system set-up to protect them, that families will not be destroyed by the system set up to heal them, and that every parent and every child will have high-quality legal representation and support so they can succeed.