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 […]

Child Welfare

Hearings: The Day I Became a Family Defense Lawyer

This week, a forthcoming major study will demonstrate that high-quality, legal representation of parents by institutional providers in New York City got children with their families four months faster than those parents represented by solo […]

Analysis

‘A Problem They Didn’t Create:’ HBO’s ‘Foster’ Documents Five Years in L.A.’s Child Welfare System

During the first moments of HBO’s new film “Foster,” the camera pans across an office of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and lingers on a cluster of infant car seats. […]

Child Welfare

Hearings: What’s Happening in Brooklyn Child Welfare Court? These Days, It’s Domestic Violence Cases

One of the busiest family courts in the nation occupies a hulking 32-story administrative tower in downtown Brooklyn. On a recent Thursday, I visited to observe the child abuse and neglect hearings on the eighth floor. […]