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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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


A Liberal Dilemma: Respecting Autonomy While Also Protecting Inchoate Children From Prenatal Substance Abuse., Andrew J. Weisberg, Frank E. Vandervort Mar 2016

A Liberal Dilemma: Respecting Autonomy While Also Protecting Inchoate Children From Prenatal Substance Abuse., Andrew J. Weisberg, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Substance abuse is a significant social problem in America. It is estimated that some eighteen million Americans have an alcohol abuse problem and that almost five million have a drug abuse problem. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse costs some $700 billion per year Substance abuse is a major contributor to child maltreatment. It is estimated that between one- and two-thirds of cases in which children enter foster care are linked to parental substance abuse. Unfortunately, this may be an underestimate as recent research suggests that many cases, particularly cases in which children have been exposed ...


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 ...


Food Policy And Cognitive Bias, Paul F. Campos Jan 2015

Food Policy And Cognitive Bias, Paul F. Campos

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 Creeping Federalization Of Wealth-Transfer Law, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jul 2014

The Creeping Federalization Of Wealth-Transfer Law, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

This article appears in a symposium issue published by the Vanderbilt Law Review on The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer. Federal authorities have little experience in making law that governs wealth transfers, because that function is traditionally within the province of state law. Although state wealth-transfer law has undergone significant modernization over the last few decades, all three branches of the federal government—legislative, judicial, and executive—have increasingly gone their own way. Lack of experience and, in many cases, lack of knowledge on the part of federal authorities have not dissuaded them from undermining well-considered state ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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


Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, And Actual Innocence: Getting It Right, David A. Moran, Keith A. Findley, Patrick D. Barnes, Waney Squier Jan 2012

Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, And Actual Innocence: Getting It Right, David A. Moran, Keith A. Findley, Patrick D. Barnes, Waney Squier

Articles

In the past decade, the existence of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) has been called into serious question by biomechanical studies, the medical and legal literature, and the media. As a result of these questions, SBS has been renamed abusive head trauma (AHT). This is, however, primarily a terminological shift: like SBS, AHT refers to the two-part hypothesis that one can reliably diagnose shaking or abuse from three internal findings (subdural hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, and encephalopathy) and that one can identify the perpetrator based on the onset of symptoms. Over the past decade, we have learned that this hypothesis fits poorly ...


What's In The Third And Final Volume Of The New Restatement Of Property That Estate Planners Should Know About, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 2012

What's In The Third And Final Volume Of The New Restatement Of Property That Estate Planners Should Know About, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

Professor John Langbein and I have just concluded a twenty-year project for the American Law Institute to restate the law of donative transfers. The official title of our three-volume Restatement is the Restatement (Third) of Property: Wills and Other Donative Transfers.1 We refer to it herein simply as the Property Restatement. The third and final volume of the work was published in the last days of 2011. Professor Langbein spoke about certain of the initiatives in the two earlier volumes, which set forth the principles governing the law of wills, intestacy, interpretation of instruments, and the nonprobate system. The ...


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 ...


Preventing The Unnecessary Entry Of Children Into Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2011

Preventing The Unnecessary Entry Of Children Into Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

A young mother of three endures abuse at the hands of the children's father. Her children repeatedly witness the violence in their home and describe it to a school teacher, who in turn places a call to Child Protective Services (CPS). A CPS investigator arrives at the home the next morning with a plethora of questions for the mother and her children. Have the children been hit? Did they observe the beatings? What steps has their mother taken to protect them? An adversarial conversation ensues. Unsatisfactory answers may lead to tragic consequences-the removal of the children from their home.


Examining The Reality Of Foreign National Child Victims Of Human Trafficking In The United States, Bridgette A. Carr Jan 2011

Examining The Reality Of Foreign National Child Victims Of Human Trafficking In The United States, Bridgette A. Carr

Articles

Human traffickers prey on the vulnerabilities of other people. Poverty, lack of education, and language barriers are keys that human traffickers use to successfully exploit others. For foreign national children who have been trafficked in the United States, these same vulnerabilities are often ignored by the immigration system. From its inception, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) has been touted as a tool to combat grave human rights violations that affect children. In fact, the TVPA's legislative history is rife with stories, statistics, and anecdotes involving children-often young girls. The TVPA has always recognized the failure of a one-size-fits-all ...


No Harm, No Foul? Why Harmless Error Analysis Should Not Be Used To Review Wrongful Denials Of Counsel To Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2011

No Harm, No Foul? Why Harmless Error Analysis Should Not Be Used To Review Wrongful Denials Of Counsel To Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

The application of a harmless error standard by appellate courts reviewing erroneous denials of counsel in child protective cases undermines a critical procedural right that safeguards the interests of parents and children. Case law reveals that trial courts, on numerous occasions, improperly reject valid requests for counsel, forcing parents to navigate the child welfare system without an advocate. Appellate courts excuse these violations by speculating that the denials caused no significant harm to the parents, which is a conclusion that a court can never reach with any certainty. The only appropriate remedy for this significant problem is a bright-line rule ...


Juvenile Life Without Parole: Unconstitutional In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2011

Juvenile Life Without Parole: Unconstitutional In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

Last term, in Graham v Florida,1 the United States Supreme Court found unconstitutional the sentence of life without parole for a juvenile who committed a non-homicide offense. This attention to the sentencing of juvenile offenders is a continuation of the Court's decision in Roper v Simmons,2 in which the Court held that juvenile offenders could not constitutionally receive the death penalty. This scrutiny should be a signal to Michigan to examine its own jurisprudence on juveniles receiving sentences of life without parole. Michigan has the second-highest number of persons serving sentences of life without parole for offenses ...


What Does Graham Mean In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2010

What Does Graham Mean In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

In Graham v. Florida, the United States Supreme Court held that life without parole could not be imposed on a juvenile offender for a nonhomicide crime.1 In this context, the Graham Court extensively discussed the diminished culpability of juvenile criminal defendants, as compared to adults. The Court relied on current scientific research regarding adolescent development and neuroscience. While the narrowest holding of Graham has little impact in Michigan, the science it relies on, and the potential broader implications for adolescents in Michigan, are significant.


A Hidden Crisis: The Need To Strengthen Representation Of Parents In Child Protective Proceedings, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2010

A Hidden Crisis: The Need To Strengthen Representation Of Parents In Child Protective Proceedings, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

A national consensus is emerging that zealous legal representation of parents is crucial in ensuring that the child welfare system produces just outcomes for children. National groups, inclucing the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, and the National Association of Counsel for Children, have been outspoken on the need to strengthen legal advocacy on behalf of parents, and a number of states-including Colorado, Connecticut,' and Washington7 have initiated efforts to comprehensively reform their systems of appointing lawyers for indigent parents to better serve families. A national movement is afoot ...


Crow Dog Vs. Spotted Tail: Case Closed, Vivek Sankaran, Timothy Connors Jan 2010

Crow Dog Vs. Spotted Tail: Case Closed, Vivek Sankaran, Timothy Connors

Articles

In 1868, Chief Spotted Tail signed a United States government treaty with an X. Spotted Tail was a member of the Brule Sioux Tribe, related by marriage to Crazy Horse. The government treaty recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux reservation. As such, exclusive use of the Black Hills by the Sioux people was guaranteed. Monroe, Michigan, native Gen. George Custer changed all that. In 1874, he led an expedition into that protected land, announced the discovery of gold, and the rush of prospectors followed. Within two years, Custer attacked at Little Big Horn and met his ...