Family Services

Asking the Experts: What Are the Three Most Critical Issues Facing Child Welfare Today?

Asking the Experts: What Are the Three Most Critical Issues Facing Child Welfare Today?

At the recent NACC Philly Conference, we started the first plenary session with an exercise intended to identify the major challenges facing child welfare. The question presented was: What are the three most critical issues facing child welfare today?” Attendees were sitting around conference tables of about 10 persons. Each of the tables came up with a list and I promised to analyze them and report back. I have summaries from 50 tables: I think you’ll find this information quite

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Child Welfare Law and Practice: Red Book 3 for Dependency Attorneys is Born

Child Welfare Law and Practice: Red Book 3 for Dependency Attorneys is Born

It’s a lot thicker! That was the most common initial reaction from NACC members at our recent annual conference in Philadelphia to our new, third edition of Child Welfare Law and Practice: Representing Children, Parents, and State Agencies in Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Cases. Yes, pick up this substantial book and you’ll notice we’ve gone from 788 pages to 1,127 in order to more fully cover what an attorney (or judge, or social worker) needs to know in this field.

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Can #HACKCHILDLAW Bring Child Welfare Into the 21st Century?

Can #HACKCHILDLAW Bring Child Welfare Into the 21st Century?

Whether you’re a technophile or a technophobe, we all live in the midst of technology that has transformed our daily lives. Sitting in your kitchen at breakfast, your cell phone goes off with an AMBER alert telling you a child is missing. On your way to work, the phone pings again; it’s an app reminding you to take your medicine. As you approach the office, another app can now send you to the nearest available parking space. As you pull

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Serving Different Families Differently: New Research on Child Protective Services’ Use of Differential Response

Serving Different Families Differently: New Research on Child Protective Services’ Use of Differential Response

Yes, it’s that hot-button issue again. As I’ve said before, nothing gets child advocates’ blood boiling like differential response (also known as alternative response). Even the fundamental concept – that families are different from each other and so should receive different responses – strikes fear into many of us. Nightmare visions of fatalities fill our heads, as we’re certain that an innovation favored by so many public child welfare administrators must certainly be another nefarious government plot to save money

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“Rethinking Foster Care” – Are We Closer to Agreement than It Seems?

“Rethinking Foster Care” – Are We Closer to Agreement than It Seems?

Earlier this month, the University of Michigan Law School Children’s Advocacy Clinic – and Professors Don Duquette and Vivek Sankaran – hosted the Rethinking Foster Care conference.  Although our field has historically been marked by fights over whether child protection agencies remove too many or too few children (and everything else we can fight over), the conference was striking for how much agreement there was on core points. Marty Guggenheim gave a talk that set the tone at the conference’s

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