FJI Publications

FJI has developed a growing collection of materials and resources to strengthen our field’s ability to provide high-quality legal representation for children and parents involved in the child welfare system.

In Court Advocacy Guide

This guide provides discussion, tips, and tools to enhance in-court advocacy for your clients to help them achieve their case goals.  As an attorney for children or parents in child welfare proceedings, you have the same ethical duty as all attorneys to be diligent when pursuing your clients’ case goals. You must be equally comfortable with and skilled at using out-of-court and in-court advocacy to achieve those goals. You must also adjust your legal theory and strategy to account for ever-evolving facts. Read more to build your in court advocacy skills.

Out of Court Advocacy Guide

Out-of-court advocacy is critical in every child welfare legal proceeding. As an attorney for the child or parent, you must be a highly skilled litigator and be willing to use the court process to meet your client’s goals. You must also be skilled in out-of-court advocacy. Out-of-court advocacy encompasses traditional legal work, such as investigating facts, interviewing witnesses, consulting experts, and using discovery. However, it also goes beyond that traditional work. 

Trauma Exposure Response

As a child welfare attorney, you are regularly exposed to trauma. Check out this new resource on trauma exposure response for child welfare attorneys. A new brief from the Family Justice Initiative (FJI) discusses what trauma exposure response is, how it affects child welfare legal professionals, how to identify it, and – most importantly – how to address it.

Appellate Practice Guides

These guides provide practice pointers for trial and appellate counsel for parents and children in the child welfare system. Additionally, FJI created resources that can be given to your parent and/or youth client on the appellate process.

Trial Attorney Appeals Brochure

FJI Appellate Attorney Practice Guide

What to Expect In An Appeal

Coming Soon: Anti-Racist Lawyering In Practice Resource Website

What does it mean to be a member of an anti-racist legal team? FJI is building an Anti-racist lawyering resource website for children’s attorneys, parents’ attorneys, educators, researchers, national policy advocates, and lived experience experts. 

This website will focus on practical tools that you can use in your individual cases, including how to talk to your clients about racial justice, how to interrupt bias when you see it, and ways to bring racial justice into your litigation, whether inside or outside the courtroom or at the individual or systemic level.