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QIC Policy Recommendations

QIC-ChildRep Overall Recommendations

  • A voluntary public health model of addressing child maltreatment would improve child representation and the functioning of the courts. Such an approach would divert cases from the courts and enable society to respond to the millions of children facing mild harms more effectively. It would also enable child protection authorities to respond to the more serious cases more effectively.
  • Federal leadership should ensure that all court-involved children are represented by an attorney in child protection proceedings.
  • States should adopt the ABA 2011 Model Act as the legal foundation for child representation and the QIC Six Core Skills Best Practice Model.
  • States should adopt a statewide organization for delivery of child representation.
  • Statewide organization of attorneys for children should reflect the finding that attorneys who concentrate their practice on child representation and have reasonable caseloads get the best results.
  • Multidisciplinary team representation would prevent unnecessary ongoing court involvement and better protect children’s connections to their families.
  • The certification of lawyers as experts in child welfare law identifies leaders and role models for the field and raises the level of practice.
  • Lawyers learn from one another and are eager to improve their level of practice. States should develop communities of learning among the lawyers to provide ongoing training and support for lawyers representing children.
  • More research is required as to what lawyer practices, under what circumstances, constitute impactful child representation.

For more information about the QIC-ChildRep Policy Recommendations please see the final chapter of Children’s Justice.

In January of 2019, the Children’s Bureau made available federal funding to support the legal representation for children and parents in child welfare cases. States may now be reimbursed for up to 50% of the costs of providing legal representation to children and parents. See here for more information. This landmark change in policy offers the opportunity for states to improve legal representation and implement the recommendations of the QIC-ChildRep Center.

For assistance in implementing the QIC-ChildRep Policy Recommendations in your state, and/or for an assessment of your state’s children’s representation system, contact the National Association of Counsel for Children at Policy@NACCchildlaw.org.

CHILDREN'S JUSTICE is the final report of the QIC-ChildRep and is now available from ABA Publications.
Click here.