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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Eighteenth Birthday Of The Convention Of Rights Of The Child: Achievements And Challenges, Jaap E. Doek Oct 2007

The Eighteenth Birthday Of The Convention Of Rights Of The Child: Achievements And Challenges, Jaap E. Doek

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Although the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child has produced positive results in many countries, the United States remains one of the few nations that has not signed on to this treaty. This Essay will begin by describing the content of the treaty. This Essay will discuss the achievements, challenges, and solutions resulting from the treaty in the areas of child poverty, violence against children, and child labour. Given the positive results produced in other countries, this Essay will conclude with an invitation to the United States to join the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Kidsvoice: A Multidisciplinary Approach To Child Advocacy, Scott Hollander, Jonathan Budd Oct 2007

Kidsvoice: A Multidisciplinary Approach To Child Advocacy, Scott Hollander, Jonathan Budd

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

There is growing recognition that effective child advocacy requires a broad range of knowledge that often goes well beyond the legal needs of the child. This Essay details the multidisciplinary approach to child advocacy that KidsVoice, a Pittsburgh legal services organization representing almost 5000 dependent children each year, has implemented to better develop uniquely tailored recommendations regarding which placement and services might create better possibilities of success for each child and family.


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.


"I'Ll Try Anything Once": Using The Conceptual Framework Of Children's Human Rights Norms In The United States, Bernardine Dohrn Oct 2007

"I'Ll Try Anything Once": Using The Conceptual Framework Of Children's Human Rights Norms In The United States, Bernardine Dohrn

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

International human rights law provides norms, concepts, and standards of immediate and practical value to attorneys for court-involved children in the United States. The conceptual framework of the comprehensive rights of the child is broadly congruent with, or closely related to, the strongest aspects of US. constitutional law and practice. The expansive language of children's human rights offers an historic opportunity: new tools and a more comprehensive context in which to change how we think about young people in conflict with the law, children in state custody, and children in related legal settings. The challenge is to use these ...


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 ...


Juvenile Justice: The Nathaniel Abraham Murder Case, Eugene Arthur Moore Oct 2007

Juvenile Justice: The Nathaniel Abraham Murder Case, Eugene Arthur Moore

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Once in a while, a case will come along that has such an enormous impact on the law that it is certain to draw attention. One such case was the Nathaniel Abraham murder case----a case involving the sentencing of a young eleven-year-old child in a system designed for older juvenile offenders, which demonstrated some of the novel and important issues facing the juvenile courts today. With the onset of such issues, the Juvenile Justice System has developed into a complex field of vital importance. Investing in the Juvenile Justice System allows us to invest in our future. Although frequently viewed ...


Troubled Children And Children In Trouble: Redefining The Role Of The Juvenile Court In The Lives Of Children, Ann Reyes Robbins Oct 2007

Troubled Children And Children In Trouble: Redefining The Role Of The Juvenile Court In The Lives Of Children, Ann Reyes Robbins

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Essay considers the emerging research in the area of dual-jurisdiction children, often referred to as "crossover kids "-those currently or previously involved in maltreatment proceedings who have also committed delinquent acts. Part I describes the development of the juvenile courts in the early twentieth century. Part II of this Essay questions the need to "track" children along one legal path or another and points to the pitfalls of providing services to some children through a criminal justice paradigm instead of treating all children through a social work paradigm. Finally, Part III advocates a redesign of the juvenile court- a ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Custody, Maintenance, And Succession: The Internalization Of Women's And Children's Rights Under Customary Law In Africa, Allison D. Kent Jan 2007

Custody, Maintenance, And Succession: The Internalization Of Women's And Children's Rights Under Customary Law In Africa, Allison D. Kent

Michigan Journal of International Law

In this Note, the author examines the process of international human rights norm internalization into areas traditionally governed exclusively by customary law, and the resulting evolution of customary law. Assuming, arguendo, that customary law is to be modified, I argue that a societal norm internalization approach is the most effective means to bring customary law into conformity with international human rights law. After a brief discussion of the fieldwork on which I rely, this Note describes the historical influence of colonialism on the development of customary law in Africa, with a particular focus on the repugnancy clauses of the colonial ...


Technological Advancement And International Human Rights: Is Science Improving Human Life Or Perpetuating Human Rights Violations?, Christine A. Khalili-Borna Jan 2007

Technological Advancement And International Human Rights: Is Science Improving Human Life Or Perpetuating Human Rights Violations?, Christine A. Khalili-Borna

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Note assesses the practices of pre-implantation and prenatal genetic screening and sex-determination through an international human rights framework founded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Universal Declaration), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).


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 ...


Confidentiality Of Educational Records And Child Protective Proceedings, Frank E. Vandervort Jan 2007

Confidentiality Of Educational Records And Child Protective Proceedings, Frank E. Vandervort

Book Chapters

The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which provides funding for state educational programming, requires that student records be disclosed to a nonparent only with the written consent of the child’s parent, unless the disclosure falls within one of the several exceptions detailed in the statute. One of the exemptions provided for in the federal law permits a school to disclose information to “state or local officials or authorities to whom [that] information is allowed to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute,” if that official certifies in writing “that the information will not be disclosed ...


Class Gifts Under The Restatement (Third) Of Property, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 2007

Class Gifts Under The Restatement (Third) Of Property, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

The new Restatement (Third) of Property (officially the Restatement (Third) of Property: Wills and Other Donative Transfers), in tandem with the Restatement (Third) of Trusts, is systematically proceeding through the whole field of wills, will substitutes, trusts, and estates. Both of the new Restatements should prove to be handy resources for trust and estate lawyers, not only in preparing to argue cases at both trial and appellate levels, but also in the everyday work of drafting and construing dispositive provisions in wills, trusts, and other types of donative documents. Each Restatement section is followed by a set of Comments explaining ...


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 ...