This course provides an overview of the child welfare legal system, dependency law, procedure, and practice. The course is modeled after the National Association of Counsel for Children’s curriculum for best practices in representing children, parents, and state agencies in abuse, neglect, and dependency cases.
- To provide an overview of the child welfare legal system.
- To learn relevant federal laws and U.S. Supreme Court cases.
- To learn ethical and professional considerations in representing parties in juvenile court dependency proceedings.
- To understand the various legal parties and their representatives within the system, including children, parents, and state agencies.
- To learn special topics in practice, including due process, immigration, education, and evidentiary issues.
- To learn trial and appellate advocacy skills necessary to practice in the child welfare legal system.
Topics in this course will include, among others:
- An overview of the child welfare legal system
- An overview of child abuse and neglect
- Best practices in child, parent, and state agency representation
- Interviewing and counseling child clients
- Cultural competency in child welfare practice
- Ethics and professionalism in child welfare legal practice
- Trauma-informed lawyering and secondary trauma
- Federal legislation and U.S. Supreme Court cases relevant to child welfare legal practice
- Special evidentiary issues
- System and policy advocacy
Special topics such as immigration, due process, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the commercial and sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), and trial and appellate advocacy.