Children’s Attorneys

Disaster Preparedness for Child Welfare Agencies: Recognizing the Emotional Impact on Foster Children

Disaster Preparedness for Child Welfare Agencies: Recognizing the Emotional Impact on Foster Children

As an executive at a Florida nonprofit that serves foster children and their families, I just went through emergency planning for Hurricane Matthew, which beat down on Florida October 6-8. I had previously written about disaster planning in foster care as part of an ABA publication – Children, Law and Disasters. This was my chance to put theory into practice, and the experience was enlightening. I wrote the book chapter in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in response to the subsequent

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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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I’m Not Your Honey, Darling: Demanding Respect For Female Attorneys

I’m Not Your Honey, Darling: Demanding Respect For Female Attorneys

Juvenile and family court dockets can be a roller coaster of unexpected and surprising developments, yet one factor is constant: the attorneys who have chosen this challenging field are disproportionately female. Many women serve on the front lines in dependency, delinquency, and custody law, and many are in leadership positions. Surely this means women working in court are respected, even admired, right? “I got the pat on the head,” reports the CEO of the National Association of Women Lawyers. Many

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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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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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