Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-09-07
  • Publisher: Amer Bar Assn
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Representing parents in child welfare cases can be a lonely job. Natural biases against an accused parent can create substantial obstacles. This book is a practical step-by-step guide for attorneys representing parents accused of parental unfitness due to abuse or neglect. Leading experts provide insights into every aspect of the legal process, from the initial interview with the parent(s), through court hearings, to issues attendant to the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry System.

Author Biography

Martin Guggenheim of New York, NY is one of the nation's foremost experts on children's rights and family law. He has taught at NYU School of Law since 1973. He served as Director of Clinical and Advocacy Programs from 1988 to 2002 and also was the Executive Director of Washington Square Legal Services, Inc. from 1987 to 2000. For 15 years, he taught the Juvenile Rights Clinic in which students represented accused juvenile delinquents in New York's Family Court. He then created the Family Defense Clinic, which represents parents and other adult relatives of children in foster care in New York City.

Guggenheim has been an active litigator in the area of children and the law and has argued leading cases on juvenile delinquency and termination of parental rights in the Supreme Court of the United States. Guggenheim is also a well-known scholar, having published more than 50 book chapters and articles in leading law reviews in the United States, including Columbia, Harvard, Michigan and NYU Law Reviews. His research has focused on adolescent abortion, First Amendment rights in schools, the role of counsel for children in court proceedings, empirical research in child welfare practice, juvenile justice and family law. He is the author of seven books on children and parents including What's Wrong with Children's Rights was published by Harvard University Press in 2005.

Guggenheim is a 1971 graduate of NYU School of Law where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Scholar. After law school, Guggenheim worked at the Juvenile Rights Division of New York City's Legal Aid Society as a staff attorney and in its special litigation unit. He also was a staff attorney for four years in the Juvenile Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation.

Professor Vivek S. Sankaran of Ann Arbor, MI, '01, is a clinical professor of law and directs both the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic. He also founded the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, an innovative legal clinic that seeks to prevent children from entering foster care. His research and policy interests center on improving outcomes for children in child welfare cases by empowering families and strengthening due process protections. Professor Sankaran sits on the steering committee of the American Bar Association's National Project to Improve Representation for Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System. He has litigated numerous cases on behalf of parents before the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals, has authored scholarly pieces and practical resource guides to assist child welfare professionals, and regularly conducts national and statewide trainings. He also was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to the Child Abuse Prevention Board. Professor Sankaran earned his BA, magna cum laude, from the College of William and Mary. He earned his JD, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an associate editor of the Michigan Law Review. After law school, he joined the Children's Law Center (CLC) as a Skadden Fellow and became a permanent staff attorney with the CLC in September 2003. Professor Sankaran was named the 2004 Michigan Law School Public Interest Alumni of the Year and, in 2006, was certified as a child welfare specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children. In 2011, he was named the Parent Attorney of the Year by the Michigan Foster Care Review Board.

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