Providing Parents with Interdisciplinary Legal Representation in Child Welfare Cases Significantly Reduces the Time Children Stay in Foster Care Without Compromising Child Safety, New Study Finds.

Evaluation of parental representation in New York, which was funded by the generous support of Casey Family Programs and undertaken with New York University and Action Research is officially published. This was a multi-year study of child welfare cases brought in the New York City courts to determine whether the kind of legal representation provided…

By Yasmeen Khan: Family Separations in Our Midst

In November 2017, less than a week before Thanksgiving, Tonia Lovell picked up her toddler, Eliana, from daycare in the early evening and returned to the house where she was staying with her brother in Brooklyn. The living situation was not ideal, and Lovell had tried twice to get into a family shelter in the…

By Vivek Sankaran: The Two Worlds of Legal Representation

September 13, 2018 A few weeks ago, a close friend came home from work surprised to find the business card of a Child Protective Services (“CPS”) worker wedged inside his door. No letter, or even a handwritten note, accompanied the card. Being uncertain what the card signified, he called the worker, only to learn that…

By Vivek Sankaran: Grasping the Opportunity to Remake Child Welfare

January 14, 2019 In December, the federal government quietly introduced a momentous new funding source for child welfare systems. The Department of Health and Human Services will now reimburse states for legal support given to parents involved in child welfare proceedings, and to their children. Read More 

Article by ABA: Twenty Years of Progress in Advocating for a Child’s Right to Counsel

By Amy Harfeld – March 22, 2019 There is much work to be done before the promise of full legal rights for dependent children is realized. Recent disturbing headlines focusing on the trauma and injustice of separating children from their parents at the border ushered unexpected but welcome public scrutiny of the obvious injustice of these vulnerable families…

From Chronicle of Social Change: Top New York Judge Endorses Call to Address “Crisis” in Parent Legal Representation

Just months after a new offer of federal funding to help represent parents in child welfare cases, a commission established by New York’s chief judge has called for statewide guarantees of well-funded legal counsel and a state-level office to ensure that promise is being lived up to. Top New York Judge Endorses Call to Address…

Letter from ABA President Robert Carlson to Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services re: Title IV-E Funds

February 19, 2019 – “ABA President Robert Carlson sends letter to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services commending the recent decision to open up Title IV-E funds for state investments in children’s and parents’ attorneys in child welfare proceedings.”