Wyoming explores using federal IV-E funds to help support independent offices for parent and children’s counsel in child welfare proceedings

Read the article here.

Court of appeal in Washington vacates order terminating parental rights

Court of appeal in Washington vacates order terminating parental rights finding that the the superior court violated the appearance of fairness and parents’ due process because it assisted and advocated against the parents through its voluntary guardian ad litem program. Appellate court ordered the case remanded to a different county and ordered that the child…

CLS Blog: Family Advocacy: How Holistic Family Defense Helps Children Thrive

FJI collaborator, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, writes about how their interdisciplinary model of legal representation for parents helps families stay together in a blog about family advocacy. Read the post here.

Title IV-E Prevention Services CLEARINGHOUSE

The Title IV- E Prevention Services Clearinghouse was established by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct an objective and transparent review of research on programs and services intended to provide enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements. View…

Child Welfare Policy Manual Update

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families updates the Child Welfare Policy Manual making clear that federal IV-E reimbursement for the costs of independent legal representation for parents and children is available to tribes administering Title IV-E programs. Child Welfare Policy Manual, Section 8.1B, Question 31.  

Administration for Children and Families Information Memorandum

In a new Information Memorandum highlighting the importance of family and youth voice in a well-functioning child welfare system, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families identifies high-quality legal representation for children and parents as one of the key principles in its call to action to child welfare agencies, dependency courts, and court…

By Kevin Penton: Why An Attorney May Not Be Enough In Child Welfare Cases

Jason Bragg was confused. He felt angry. But more than anything, he wanted his son back. Bragg said he believes the reunification would have taken far longer had he not received guidance from the Parents Representation Program, a service for low-income parents operating out of Washington state’s Office of Public Defense. Read the full article…

US: Legal representation is essential for abused children – and smart for states

Children are the vulnerable parties in child abuse and neglect cases, with every aspect of their lives at stake when they face removal from their families or enter a courtroom. Dependency courts dramatically shape a child’s future and have complete authority over the children in their custody. Read the full article here.

New York Child Welfare Advocates Want Parents to Have Representation When Their Children Are Removed

“I would have liked an attorney from day one, not just when I landed in court. It would have been a little better,” Montauban said. Child welfare reform advocates agree, and are forming an alliance of activists and practitioners to advocate for more timely representation statewide for parents accused of abusing or neglecting their children….

First Star Institute & the Children’s Advocacy Institute Release Latest Edition of “A Child’s Right to Counsel,” a Report on Nationwide Effort to Guarantee Legal Protections for Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases

Link to the report and related articles: Full Report Executive Summary Press Release Article from the Chronicle of Social Change