Judges

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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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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How to Relieve Stress: Breathing Exercises for Child Welfare Attorneys and Other Busy Professionals

How to Relieve Stress: Breathing Exercises for Child Welfare Attorneys and Other Busy Professionals

Last year I attended a seminar regarding civility in the legal profession by Robert’s Fund at Seattle University School of Law. During a break I had a conversation with one of the instructors, Professor Paula Lustbader about how stress, exhaustion, and compassion fatigue in the child welfare arena may play a role in the level of civility (or lack thereof) that we see among attorneys and judges. Using myself as an example, (I admittedly get cranky when I’m overtired) we

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Civility as a Virtue and a Tool, or Why NACC Wants to Send You to Italy

Civility as a Virtue and a Tool, or Why NACC Wants to Send You to Italy

It’s in the nature of dependency practice that our schedules and our minds are packed. Little time or space is available to step back and consider the big picture of what we do and how we do it. Perhaps NACC can help. We work in a field where intensely intrusive interventions are delivered by a coercive legal system. At the same time, we try to heal and restore the tender, sometimes fragile bonds of family. In such a stressful and

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