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Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Law

Friends With Benefits?, Laura A. Rosenbury Nov 2007

Friends With Benefits?, Laura A. Rosenbury

Michigan Law Review

Family law has long been intensely interested in certain adult intimate relationships, namely marriage and marriage-like relationships, and silent about other adult intimate relationships, namely friendship. This Article examines the effects of that focus, illustrating how it frustrates one of the goals embraced by most family law scholars over the past forty years: the achievement of gender equality, within the family and without. Part I examines the current scope of family law doctrine and scholarship, highlighting the ways in which the home is still the organizing structure for family. Despite calls for increased legal recognition of diverse families, few scholars ...


Looking Ahead: A Personal Vision Of The Future Of Child Welfare Law, Donald N. Duquette Oct 2007

Looking Ahead: A Personal Vision Of The Future Of Child Welfare Law, Donald N. Duquette

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The participants in the Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration of the Child Advocacy Law Clinic were all challenged to envision the future of child welfare and to address these questions: What should the law and legal institutions governing children's rights and child and family welfare look like in thirty more years? What steps are necessary to achieve those goals? After setting out the historical and optimistic circumstance in which the Child Advocacy Law Clinic was founded, this Article responds to the organizing questions by presenting the author's vision of the future of child welfare law and practice. When families fail ...


The Multiethnic Placement Act: Threat To Foster Child Safety And Well-Being?, David J. Herring Oct 2007

The Multiethnic Placement Act: Threat To Foster Child Safety And Well-Being?, David J. Herring

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Despite the efforts of public officials to reduce the time children spend in foster care, many children live in foster homes for a substantial portion of their childhoods. In fact, a child placed in a foster home may remain in that home for an extended period, with a significant possibility of remaining there permanently. In light of this situation, the decision to place a child in a particular foster home is extremely important.

The federal Multiethnic Placement Act ("MEPA ") significantly affects foster care placement decisions. This law expressly prohibits public child welfare agencies from delaying or denying a child's ...


Reflections On The Future Of Child Advocacy, Bobbe J. Bridge Oct 2007

Reflections On The Future Of Child Advocacy, Bobbe J. Bridge

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Essay emphasizes the foster child's rights to well-being and permanency, as well as safety. Noting an ongoing parent-centered approach, this Essay advocates a new paradigm, moving away from a focus on adults and toward a focus on the child. This Essay concludes by reviewing recent advances that promote a child-centered approach.


Neither Dyad Nor Triad: Children's Relationship Interests Within Kinship Caregiving Families, Sacha M. Coupet Oct 2007

Neither Dyad Nor Triad: Children's Relationship Interests Within Kinship Caregiving Families, Sacha M. Coupet

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Utilizing a research design lens as a platform for exploring children's relationship rights, this Essay examines first, the limitations of a rights-based framework and second, insufficient participation by children in decision-making regarding their access to and interest in relationships with significant others. This Essay posits that neither the dyadic rights-based framework in domestic relations nor the, ostensibly, triadic one in child welfare serve the interests of children, since children's rights are invariably subordinated to those of adults and the state. In place of a rights-based approach, this Essay endorses an interests-based model more attuned to the holistic aim ...


Child Well-Being: A Beneficial Advocacy Framework For Improving The Child Welfare System?, Sarah H. Ramsey Oct 2007

Child Well-Being: A Beneficial Advocacy Framework For Improving The Child Welfare System?, Sarah H. Ramsey

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article explores the advantages and disadvantages of child well-being as a child welfare system advocacy framework. It examines the use of the concept of child well-being as a social indicator and the importance of poverty rates to the child welfare system. It also examines the use of child well-being as an outcome measure for the child welfare system, in particular in Child and Family Service Reviews ("CFSRs") and court evaluations. The possible impact of the child wellbeing concept is considered in the context of several programs, including income supports and problem-solving courts. The Article concludes that, overall, well-being provides ...


Advancing The Future Of Family Violence Law Pedagogy: The Founding Of A Law School Clinic, Melissa Breger, Theresa Hughes Oct 2007

Advancing The Future Of Family Violence Law Pedagogy: The Founding Of A Law School Clinic, Melissa Breger, Theresa Hughes

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article advocates for law schools to integrate family violence law further into their curricula and proffers reasons why family violence training is critical in preparing students to practice law. The authors posit that although live-client specialty clinics are the most in-depth way to teach family violence law, the topic should also be offered through doctrinal courses, externships, or general subject matter clinics. The Article then describes the authors' own experiences in cofounding a child advocacy clinic in New York City, outlining the steps taken to transform a vision into the actual formation of a clinic. Finally, the authors conclude ...


Measuring The Next 30 Years, Beth Locker, Andrew Barclay Oct 2007

Measuring The Next 30 Years, Beth Locker, Andrew Barclay

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The last thirty years have seen many changes in the field of child protection, as child welfare law and policy have been undergoing nearly constant change. Those changes, however, have rarely been supported by data or scientific research; rather, they seem to have been largely driven by individual perception of events and gut instincts resulting in what has become essentially a folklore-based system. By focusing on data and scientific research, we hope for better outcomes, but short of that, we at least hope to know whether, and why, outcomes change. The move towards data collection and analysis has begun, but ...


Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho Jan 2007

Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho

Michigan Law Review

A revocation-by-divorce statute essentially nullifies a devise in a divorced decedent's will when the devise bequeaths property to the decedent's ex-spouse and the will was executed during their marriage. Until recently, state revocation-by-divorce statutes unquestionably applied not only to wills but also to will substitutes, including ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In 2001, the Supreme Court held in Egelhoff v. Egelhoff ex rel. Breiner that ERISA preempts traditional state revocation-by-divorce statutes as applied to ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In the wake of the Egelhoff decision, plan administrators may automatically pay proceeds to the listed beneficiary, even an ex-spouse, regardless ...


Procedural Injustice: How The Practices And Procedures Of The Child Welfare System Disempower Parents And Why It Matters, Vivek Sankaran, Itzhak Lander Jan 2007

Procedural Injustice: How The Practices And Procedures Of The Child Welfare System Disempower Parents And Why It Matters, Vivek Sankaran, Itzhak Lander

Articles

Many of us appear surprised when families involved in the child protective system do not reunify. A parent’s path to reunification seems straightforward. Upon a finding of neglect, the court prescribes a basic regimen, typically consisting of parenting classes, counseling, drug testing, and a psychological evaluation, that a parent must fulfill prior to having the child returned to his/her custody. If a parent successfully completes these seemingly minimal requirements, the law requires reunification unless the return poses a “substantial risk of harm” to the child. With such high stakes involved, a clearly defined path for success, and the ...


The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends': A Response To Judge Tacoma's Prescription For A Return To Foster Care 'Limbo' And 'Drift', Frank E. Vandervort Jan 2007

The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends': A Response To Judge Tacoma's Prescription For A Return To Foster Care 'Limbo' And 'Drift', Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

This article responds to Judge Tacoma’s suggested changes in Michigan law. It begins with a very brief history of child welfare legislation at the federal and state levels. Next, it points out a number of errors in Judge Tacoma’s understanding of the current state of Michigan’s child welfare law.2 It is necessary to point out these errors because it seems that his misstatements of the law form the foundation for his recommended reforms. Then it will respond point-by-point to many of Judge Tacoma’s recommendations. Finally, I will off er several suggestions for addressing the problem ...


Innovation Held Hostage: Has Federal Intervention Stifled Efforts To Reform The Child Welfare System?, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2007

Innovation Held Hostage: Has Federal Intervention Stifled Efforts To Reform The Child Welfare System?, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

The past thirty years have been marked by an increased federalization of child welfare law, which, like other areas of family law, traditionally remained within the sole purview of state legislatures. Despite increased oversight by the federal government, outcomes for foster children remain unacceptably poor The number of children in foster care has more than doubled over the past twenty-five years and reports of suspected maltreatment have skyrocketed. Children continue to stay too long in care and have too many placements. Case workers assigned to work with families and attorneys representing parents and children are overwhelmed and rarely provide meaningful ...