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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 ...


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

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

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Introduction to a 2007 Symposium held to mark the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Child Advocacy Clinic.


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 ...


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 ...


Why Children Still Need A Lawyer, Marcia Robinson Lowry, Sara Bartosz Oct 2007

Why Children Still Need A Lawyer, Marcia Robinson Lowry, Sara Bartosz

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Every day approximately 500,000 children across the United States wake up in foster care, most in foster family homes, though many others in group homes and institutions. These children entered the state foster care system as innocent victims of abuse or neglect occurring in their birth homes. As wards of the state, they depend completely on the government to provide for their essential safety and wellbeing and to reconnect them with a permanent family, hopefully their own.

Though state child welfare agencies possess fundamental legal obligations under the United States Constitution and federal and state statutes to provide adequate ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Interdisciplinary Clinical Teaching Of Child Welfare Practice To Law And Social Work Students When World Views Collide, Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Frank E. Vandervort Jan 2007

Interdisciplinary Clinical Teaching Of Child Welfare Practice To Law And Social Work Students When World Views Collide, Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Because child welfare cases in the world of professional practice require interdisciplinary collaboration, it would seem to follow that graduate students, who will become child welfare professionals, should be trained together, both in the classroom and in clinical settings. However, the implementation of interdisciplinary training is far from straightforward. In this Article, we focus on law and social work students. First, we describe the roles of lawyers and social worker in child welfare work. Next we argue that interdisciplinary classroom teaching is easier than clinical teaching, proposing a series of topics to be covered in an interdisciplinary course. Finally, we ...


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 ...