Child Welfare

In Child Welfare Cases, Just Any Old Lawyer Won’t Do

During a virtual town hall last week, parents asked gut-wrenching questions to child welfare leadership. “When can I see my kids again?” “I was having unsupervised visits with them. Why can’t they come live with […]

Child Welfare

Timely Permanency and the Appellate Process

The child welfare system has a problem that is rarely mentioned in the literature. Children wait too long for permanency, and the problem is exasperated by the age of the children. Most of the children […]

Child Welfare

Injustice Without Objection

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading transcripts from child protective hearings. Hundreds of pages of transcripts. I’ve seen examples of clear legal errors. I’ve read many lines of parents’ lawyers grumbling and complaining. […]

Child Welfare

Child Welfare is a System in Need of Umpires

A few weeks ago, a retired judge shared with me how he’d reform juvenile court. He remarked, “I’d tell judges they shouldn’t be umpires. They need to do more than call balls and strikes. They […]

Child Welfare

Hearings: In Child Welfare Court, Customer Service is Key

As a social worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), I face a lot of situations that are disheartening and tough to deal with. But few moments in my […]

Child Welfare

Hearings: The Era of Closed Courtrooms Should End

For more than a century, there has been a tradition of maintaining confidentiality in the juvenile and family courts, where abuse, neglect, juvenile delinquency, and even paternity cases are held. In various forms, virtually every […]