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Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan Dec 2020

Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan

Articles

Few medico-legal matters have generated as much controversy--both in the medical literature and in the courtroom--as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), now known more broadly as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The controversies are of enormous significance in the law because child abuse pediatricians claim, on the basis of a few non-specific medical findings supported by a weak and methodologically flawed research base, to be able to “diagnose” child abuse, and thereby to provide all of the evidence necessary to satisfy all of the legal elements for criminal prosecution (or removal of children from their parents). It is a matter, therefore, in ...


Compassion: The Necessary Foundation To Reunify Families Involved In The Foster Care System, Katherine Markey, Vivek Sankaran Sep 2020

Compassion: The Necessary Foundation To Reunify Families Involved In The Foster Care System, Katherine Markey, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Compassion plays a critical role in ensuring that stakeholders can engage with, and support parents trying to reunify with kids in the foster care system. This Article will explore the compassion crisis in foster care, will present the research documenting the impact of compassion on engaging families, and will identify key steps stakeholders can take to incorporate compassion into their work.


Rethinking Foster Care: Why Our Current Approach To Child Welfare Has Failed, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church Apr 2020

Rethinking Foster Care: Why Our Current Approach To Child Welfare Has Failed, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church

Articles

Over the past decade, the child welfare system has expanded, with vast public and private resources being spent on the system. Despite this investment, there is scant evidence suggesting a meaningful return on investment. This Article argues that without a change in the values held by the system, increased funding will not address the public health problems of child abuse and neglect.


Prenatal Drug Exposure As Aggravated Circumstances, Frank E. Vandervort Nov 2019

Prenatal Drug Exposure As Aggravated Circumstances, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

In Michigan, "a child has a legal right to begin life with sound mind and body." Yet the family court may not assert Juvenile Code jurisdiction until after birth. In re Baby X addressed the question of whether a parent's prenatal conduct may form the basis for jurisdiction upon birth. It held that a mother's drug use during pregnancy is neglect, allowing the court to assert jurisdiction immediately upon the child's birth. In deciding Baby X, the Court specifically reserved the question of whether parental drug use during pregnancy might be sufficient to permanently deprive a parent ...


Advocating For Children With Disabilities In Child Protection Cases, Joshua B. Kay Aug 2019

Advocating For Children With Disabilities In Child Protection Cases, Joshua B. Kay

Articles

Children with disabilities are maltreated at a higher rate than other children and overrepresented in child protection matters, yet most social service caseworkers, judges, child advocates, and other professionals involved in these cases receive little to no training about evaluating and addressing their needs. Child protection case outcomes for children with disabilities tend to differ from those of nondisabled children, with more disabled children experiencing a termination of their parents' rights and fewer being reunified with their parents or placed with kin. They also tend to experience longer waits for adoption. Furthermore, the poor outcomes that plague youth who age ...


New Juvenile Discovery Rules: Mandatory, Comprehensive, And Streamlined., Joshua B. Kay Jul 2019

New Juvenile Discovery Rules: Mandatory, Comprehensive, And Streamlined., Joshua B. Kay

Articles

The recently promulgated amendments and additions to the civil discovery rules include several changes affecting child protection and juvenile delinquency proceedings.1 The updates should make discovery in juvenile court matters more efficient by clarifying what is discoverable and requiring more timely exchange of information.


A Cure Worse Than The Disease? The Impact Of Removal On Children And Their Families, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell Jul 2019

A Cure Worse Than The Disease? The Impact Of Removal On Children And Their Families, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell

Articles

Removing children from their parents is child welfare's most drastic intervention. Research clearly establishes the profound and irreparable damage family separation can inflict on children and their parents. To ensure that this intervention is only used when necessary, a complex web of state and federal constitutional principles, statutes, administrative regulations, judicial decisions, and agency policies govern the removal decision. Central to these authorities is the presumption that a healthy and robust child welfare system keeps families together, protects children from harm, and centers on the needs of children and their parents. Yet, research and practice-supported by administrative data-paint a ...


Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas Feb 2019

Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

Modern doctrine and scholarship largely take it for granted that offenders should be criminally punished for reckless acts.1 Yet, developments in our understanding of human behavior can shed light on how we define and attribute criminal liability, or at least force us to grapple with the categories that have existed for so long. This Article examines recklessness and related doctrines in light of the shifts in understanding of adolescent behavior and its biological roots, to see what insights we might attain, or what challenges these understandings pose to this foundational mens rea doctrine. Over the past decade, the U ...


Keynote: The Protection Of Lgbt Youth, Craig Konnoth Jan 2019

Keynote: The Protection Of Lgbt Youth, Craig Konnoth

Articles

This keynote contains three parts. Part I addresses the intersection of two metaphors: medicine and childhood in LGBT Rights. Part II addresses the state regulation of LGBT youth. Part III offers Professor Konnoth's concluding remarks on the protection of LGBT youth.


My Name Is Not 'Respondent Mother': The Need For Procedural Justice In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran Jun 2018

My Name Is Not 'Respondent Mother': The Need For Procedural Justice In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

You are a parent whose children are in foster care. Your court hearing is today, after which you hope your children will return home. Upon leaving the bus, you wait in line to enter the court. At the metal detectors you’re told you can’t bring your cell phone inside. With no storage options, you hide your phone in the bushes, hoping it will be there when you return.


Judges Behaving Badly - Clinics Fighting Back: The Struggle For Special Immigrant Juveniles In State Dependency Courts In The Age Of Trump, Bernard Perlmutter Jan 2018

Judges Behaving Badly - Clinics Fighting Back: The Struggle For Special Immigrant Juveniles In State Dependency Courts In The Age Of Trump, Bernard Perlmutter

Articles

No abstract provided.


Moving Beyond Lassiter: The Need For A Federal Statutory Right To Counsel For Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran Dec 2017

Moving Beyond Lassiter: The Need For A Federal Statutory Right To Counsel For Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

In New York City, an indigent parent can receive the assistance of a multidisciplinary legal team—an attorney, a social worker, and a parent advocate—to defend against the City’s request to temporarily remove a child from her care. But in Mississippi, that same parent can have her rights to her child permanently terminated without ever receiving the assistance of a single lawyer. In Washington State, the Legislature has ensured that parents ensnared in child abuse and neglect proceedings will receive the help of a well-trained and well-compensated attorney with a reasonable caseload. Yet in Tennessee, its Supreme Court ...


Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran Oct 2017

Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

In many jurisdictions, once a parent has her rights terminated to one child, the State can use that decision to justify the termination of parental rights to another child. The State can do so regardless of whether the parent is fit to parent the second child. This article explores this practice, examines its origins, and discusses its constitutional inadequacies.


Juvenile Lifers And Juveniles In Michigan Prisons: A Population Of Special Concern, Kimberly A. Thomas Sep 2017

Juvenile Lifers And Juveniles In Michigan Prisons: A Population Of Special Concern, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

Prisoners serving life without parole for offenses they committed when they were juveniles have received much attention after the United States Supreme Court found in Miller v Alabama that mandatory life without parole for juveniles violated the Eighth Amendment and found that its Miller decision applied retroactively. Courts have begun the process of sentencing and resentencing these individuals, some of whom are still teens and some of whom have served 40 years or more in the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). All told, not including new cases that come before the court, approximately 370 prisoners will receive individualized sentences under ...


Timely Permanency Or Unnecessary Removal?: Tips For Advocates For Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell, Vivek Sankaran Jun 2017

Timely Permanency Or Unnecessary Removal?: Tips For Advocates For Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Removal and placement in foster care is child welfare’s most severe intervention, contemplated as “a last resort rather than the first.” Federal law, with an overarching goal of preventing unnecessary removals, bolsters this principle by requiring juvenile and family courts to carefully oversee the removal of children to foster care. Expansive research reminds the field that removal, while often necessary, is not a benign intervention. Physically, legally, and emotionally separating children from their parent(s) can traumatize children in lasting ways. Yet review of federal data concerning children in foster care reveal a troubling narrative: each year, tens of ...


Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas Mar 2017

Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

First, this Article surveys the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to analogize life without parole for juveniles to the death penalty for adults, and discusses the Eighth Amendment law regarding the parameters around death penalty statutory schemes. Second, this Article examines the state legislative response to Miller, and scrutinizes it with the Court's Eighth Amendment death penalty law-and the states' responses to this case law-in mind. This Article highlights the failure of juvenile homicide sentencing provisions to: 1) narrow offenses that are eligible for life without parole sentences; 2) further limit, once a guilty finding is made, the ...


Easy Come, Easy Go: The Plight Of Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church Jan 2016

Easy Come, Easy Go: The Plight Of Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church

Articles

This article explores the plight of “short stayers” and argues that juvenile courts are failing to use two tools—the federal reasonable efforts requirement and the early appointment of parents’ counsel—to prevent the unnecessary entry of children into foster care. The article also argues that states should give parents and children the right to an expedited appeal of removal decisions to ensure removal standards are properly applied. Finally, this article argues that the federal government must acknowledge the problem of short stayers by utilizing data related to children who may unnecessarily enter foster care in the Child and Family ...


The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci Jan 2015

The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci

Articles

This Essay provides a solution to the conundrum of statements made by very young children and offered against an accused in a criminal prosecution. Currently prevailing doctrine allows one of three basic outcomes. First, in some cases the child testifies at trial. But this is not always feasible, and when it is, cross-examination is a poor method for determining the truth. Second, evidence of the child's statement may be excluded, which denies the adjudicative process of potentially valuable information. Third, the evidence may be admitted without the child testifying at trial, which leaves the accused with no practical ability ...


Arguing On The Side Of Culture, Debra Chopp, Robert Ortega, Frank E. Vandervort Sep 2014

Arguing On The Side Of Culture, Debra Chopp, Robert Ortega, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Human service professions are increasingly acknowledging the ubiquitous role of culture in the human experience. This is evidenced in professional codes of ethics, professional school accreditation standards, licensing, and in some cases through state statutes regarding professional codes of conduct. Across professions, concerted efforts are being made to infuse standards of culturally responsive practice into curricular content and training. For example, instruction on cultural competence is expected in business and medical education.1 Psychology and social work both require their professionals to exercise cultural competence. When it comes to cultural competence/ though, the legal codes of ethics and professional practice ...


The Intersection Of Family Law And Education Law, Debra Chopp Jul 2014

The Intersection Of Family Law And Education Law, Debra Chopp

Articles

It is well-established that parents have a fundamental liberty interest in directing the education of their children. As family law practitioners know, however, parents do not always agree with each other on matters pertaining to their child's education. Where education issues arise in family law cases, it is important for members of the family law bar to have familiarity with education laws so that they may properly advise their clients. This article will identify and briefly discuss common intersections of family law and education law.


Foster Kids In Limbo: The Effects Of The Interstate Compact On Children In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran Jun 2014

Foster Kids In Limbo: The Effects Of The Interstate Compact On Children In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Each year, child welfare agencies make over 40,000 requests for home studies to determine whether children in foster care can be placed with parents, relatives, and others living in another state. Each request is governed by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), a uniform law adopted by every state to coordinate the placement of foster children in other states. Under the ICPC, a child can only be placed in foster care in another state after the receiving state conducts a home study and approves the proposed placement. Despite its good intentions, the ICPC has become unworkable ...


The True Legacy Of Atkins And Roper: The Unreliability Principle, Mentally Ill Defendants, And The Death Penalty's Unraveling, Scott E. Sundby Jan 2014

The True Legacy Of Atkins And Roper: The Unreliability Principle, Mentally Ill Defendants, And The Death Penalty's Unraveling, Scott E. Sundby

Articles

No abstract provided.


Using Preventive Legal Advocacy To Keep Children From Entering Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2014

Using Preventive Legal Advocacy To Keep Children From Entering Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Children may unnecessarily enter foster care because their parents are unable to resolve legal issues that affect their safety and well-being in their home.[...] Yet these kinds of legal needs for poor families are rarely met. On average, poor families experience at least one civil legal need per year, but only a small portion of those needs are satisfied. For about every six thousand people in poverty, there exists only one legal aid lawyer. So legal aid programs are forced to reject close to a million cases each year. This lack of legal services threatens the well-being of children[...] who ...


Effects Of Clergy Reporting Laws On Child Maltreatment Report Rates, Frank E. Vandervort, Vincent J. Palusci Jan 2014

Effects Of Clergy Reporting Laws On Child Maltreatment Report Rates, Frank E. Vandervort, Vincent J. Palusci

Articles

Child maltreatment (CM) reporting laws and policies have an important role in the identification, treatment, and prevention of CM in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [US DHHS], 2012). Abuse by a member of the clergy “is not only a personal and emotional betrayal, but [also] a spiritual betrayal, with secrecy amplified by the unprecedented and systemic cover-up committed by the Church hierarchy” (Coyne, 2011, p. 15). Recent controversies have resulted in the consideration of changes in mandated U.S. reporting laws that include increasing requirements for clergy and extension to additional professions (Freeh, Sporkin ...


Representing Child Migrants (In The Midst Of Our Border Crisis), Caroline Bettinger-López Jan 2013

Representing Child Migrants (In The Midst Of Our Border Crisis), Caroline Bettinger-López

Articles

No abstract provided.


Building Resilience In Foster Children: The Role Of The Child's Advocate, Frank E. Vandervort, James Henry, Mark A. Sloane Jan 2012

Building Resilience In Foster Children: The Role Of The Child's Advocate, Frank E. Vandervort, James Henry, Mark A. Sloane

Articles

This Article provides an introduction to, and brief overview of trauma, its impact upon foster children, and steps children's advocates" can take to lessen or ameliorate the impact of trauma upon their clients. This Article begins in Part 11 by defining relevant terms. Part III addresses the prevalence of trauma among children entering the child welfare system. Part IV considers the neurodevelopmental (i.e., the developing brain) impact of trauma on children and will explore how that trauma may manifest emotionally and behaviorally. With this foundation in place, Part V discusses the need for a comprehensive trauma assessment including ...


The Connection Between Permanency And Education In Child Welfare Policy, Kele Stewart Jan 2012

The Connection Between Permanency And Education In Child Welfare Policy, Kele Stewart

Articles

No abstract provided.


When Federal And State Systems Converge: Foreign National Human Trafficking Victims Within Juvenile And Family Courts, Bridgette A. Carr Jan 2012

When Federal And State Systems Converge: Foreign National Human Trafficking Victims Within Juvenile And Family Courts, Bridgette A. Carr

Articles

This article highlights the concerns facing foreign national children who are both victims of human trafficking and under the jurisdiction of juvenile and family courts. Human trafficking is modern day slavery in which individuals, including children, are compelled into service and exploited. Foreign national human trafficking victims in juvenile and family court systems must navigate both the state system and a complex federal immigration system. This article explains the federal benefits available to these children and identifies the best practice approaches for juvenile and family court systems to increase identification of and support for foreign national child trafficking victims.jfcj_1073


Child Welfare Cases Involving Mental Illness: Reflections On The Role And Responsibilities Of The Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem, Frank E. Vandervort Jan 2012

Child Welfare Cases Involving Mental Illness: Reflections On The Role And Responsibilities Of The Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Child welfare cases involving mental illness suffered either by a child or his parent can be among the most difficult and perplexing that a child’s lawyerguardian ad litem (L-GAL) will handle. They may present daunting problems of accessing necessary and appropriate services as well as questions about whether and when such mental health problems can be resolved or how best to manage them. They also require the L-GAL to carefully consider crucially important questions—rarely with all the information one would like to have and too often with information that comes late in the case, is fragmented or glaringly ...


School Districts And Families Under The Idea: Collaborative In Theory, Adversarial In Fact, Debra Chopp Jan 2012

School Districts And Families Under The Idea: Collaborative In Theory, Adversarial In Fact, Debra Chopp

Articles

To read the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is to be impressed with the ambition and promise of special education. The statute guarantees disabled students a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) in the "least restrictive environment." At the core of this guarantee lies an entitlement for the parents of a disabled child to collaborate with teachers and school administrators to craft an educational program that is both tailored to the child's unique needs and designed to help her make progress in her education. This entitlement, and the IDEA generally, represents an enormous advance for children with disabilities--a community ...