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  • Reflections

    Reflections on 2016: Making Great Strides for Children and Families


    by Candi M. Mayes, November 28, 2016
  • Human Rights Day

    Stand Up for Someone’s Rights on Human Rights Day


    by Candi M. Mayes, November 21, 2016
  • Native American Art Installation

    ICWA and Indian Heritage: So Much More than “Paperwork”


    by Jerin Damo, November 14, 2016
  • Hands Holding a Paper Heart

    Giving Thanks This Holiday Season: NACC Annual Fund Drive


    by H.D. Kirkpatrick, November 7, 2016
  • Employment Application

    The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) is Hiring a New Executive Director


    by NACC Job Listing, October 31, 2016

A Guardian ad Litem’s Guide to Disagreeing with the Department

A Guardian ad Litem’s Guide to Disagreeing with the Department

When I first moved to Colorado to practice dependency law as a guardian ad litem, I took a two-day course entitled, “Legal Preparation for Dependency Attorneys.” The course provided an overview of Colorado’s child welfare statutes, practice, and policy. I was transitioning from a civil rights practice to a nonprofit practice so I knew I could use a crash course in the black letter law and local culture. But I (naively) assumed that “advocacy was advocacy” and so the basics

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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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We Are All in This Together: The Value of Dialogue in a Challenging Field

We Are All in This Together: The Value of Dialogue in a Challenging Field

“Why did you go into this work?” As part of a training on compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, my co-presenters and I begin every session with this question. Responses vary slightly but are always connected to a desire to advocate for, empower, and help vulnerable children and families and to work for positive social change on a larger scale. This question is like an anchor for everything else we discuss and explore, namely that the reality of our work is

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Many Medicines, Few Cures: Advocating for Children Who Have Been Prescribed Psychotropic Medications

Many Medicines, Few Cures: Advocating for Children Who Have Been Prescribed Psychotropic Medications

“Many medicines, few cures” – Benjamin Franklin I am fortunate to live and work in the great city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the United States, home to the cheesesteak and the guy who wrote the above quote – Benjamin Franklin. We are excited that NACC is coming to Philadelphia this year. Several of us at Support Center for Child Advocates will present workshops and a few more will attend. I will be presenting “Use of Psychotropic Medication: Research Informing Policy

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Child Witnesses in Dependency Court: It Starts with Careful Planning and Preparation

Child Witnesses in Dependency Court: It Starts with Careful Planning and Preparation

Starting out as a new children’s attorney eight years ago, there were many tenets ingrained into my head. Those about sibling placement, front-loading of services to encourage reunification, diligent searches, timely permanency, and so many others that I’m sure ring true in your own practice. One of those that stood out was the belief that we want to avoid calling children as witnesses in our dependency cases. The act of testifying itself can be potentially traumatic for children. Yes, I

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