Breaking News: Child Welfare Policy Manual updated to clarify use of federal funds

Child Welfare Policy Manual updated to clarify that federal funds may be used to support administrative costs of paralegals, investigators, peer partners or social workers that support parents’ and children’s attorneys. See Child Welfare Policy Manual, Section 8.1B, Question 32. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau issues guidance to courts, attorneys and child welfare agencies during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

CB urges courts to refrain from making sweeping blanket orders ceasing, suspending, or postponing court hearings and reducing or suspending family visitation. Read the letter here.

Welcome Joanne Moore!

We are happy to announce that Joanne Moore, the Director of Washington’s Office of Public Defense (OPD), will be our newest FJI Executive Team member. Under Joanne’s leadership OPD’s Parent Representation Program has grown into a model for providing high-quality legal representation to parents through a statewide office. Washington’s Parent Representation Program has been evaluated…

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  • Quality Legal Representation

    High-quality legal representation for parents and children in child welfare proceedings has many benefits, including increased parental engagement, more frequent visitation, and better access to services. Most importantly, quality legal representation for families has been shown to reduce the length of time children must spend in foster care — and in some cases, prevent family…

    Bumpy Ride in Wyoming for Bills to Create Parent and Child Representation Offices

    Chronicle of Social Change – February 14, 2020 Just days into Wyoming’s legislative session, bills to expand legal counsel to children and parents in child welfare court were killed by a lack of support. But half of the package has already been raised from the dead. House Bill (HB) 18 would have moved child representation…

    Top Stories of 2019 from The Chronicle

    Chronicle of Social Change – December 25, 2019 At the dawn of 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opened up federal spending for the first time to support legal fees for parents involved in child welfare cases. And in the spring, a long-awaited study linked the use of interdisciplinary law offices –…

    Center For Family Representation, Michele Cortese, writes op-ed about why parents should have access to legal team during child welfare investigations.

    Read here.

    Hear from Family Voices United about the importance of legal representation for families

    Listen to the podcast here. Read the companion paper here.

    Indigent parent representation to be provided in six north Mississippi counties

    Daily Journal – October 08, 2019 Six northeast Mississippi counties are now providing legal representation to some parents during youth court proceedings. The counties – Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Pontotoc, Tishomingo and Union – and the state are splitting the costs to hire five attorneys to represent indigent parents in abuse and neglect proceedings in youth…

    Midland County child advocate attorneys receive raise

    KOSA – October 15, 2019 Attorneys advocating for children in child protective services will soon be paid more, thanks to an item approved by Midland County Commissioner Monday morning. The attorneys are paid around $100 an hour by the county to advocate in court for families whose children recently were placed in the foster care…