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Input on Improving Court Oversight of Child Welfare Cases

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Publication Date: August 2003

Publisher(s): Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Rutledge Q. Hutson

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The new Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care is developing recommendations to improve court oversight of child welfare cases and to facilitate better, more timely decisions related to childrens safety, permanence, and well-being.

This memo offers three suggestions to the Commission: (1) designate specially trained judges to hear child welfare cases; (2) ensure that everyone involved in the child welfare cases has an opportunity to be heard; and (3) provide comprehensive training to judges, lawyers, guardians ad litem, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and related court personnelnot only about the legal issues involved in child welfare cases, but also about child development, family dynamics, substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence.