Recorded September 12, 2016, this webinar presents an overview of the project, its findings and recommendations.

Presenters include Don Duquette, JD, QIC-ChildRep Director, Robbin Pott, JD, MPP, QIC-ChildRep Assistant Director, Britany Orlebeke, MPP, QIC-ChildRep Evaluator, and Andy Zinn, Ph.D, MSW, QIC-ChildRep Evaluator.

Download the presentation slides.

The Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS) certification program

The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) provides an ABA-approved certification of lawyers as specialists in child welfare law.  NACC Certification of the most experienced and capable lawyers for children has become an increasingly important means of professionalizing the field and identifying the emerging leadership and role models.

For more information see NACC Certification.



The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) is proud to partner with the University of Michigan Law School and the U.S. Children’s Bureau to preserve and promote the lessons of the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System (QIC-ChildRep)

From 2009 to 2016 the University of Michigan Law School served as the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System (QIC-ChildRep). This seven-year, multimillion dollar project, directed by Clinical Professor Don Duquette, conducted a national Needs Assessment that identified a substantial consensus on the role and duties of the child’s lawyer. The Needs Assessment led to the QIC-ChildRep Best Practice Model, an update and expansion of the 1996 ABA Standards for Lawyers Representing Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases. 

Does the QIC Model actually improve a child’s legal representation? Yes. The QIC-ChildRep conducted one of the first empirically-based analyses of how legal representation for the child might best be delivered. Lawyers in Georgia and Washington State were randomly assigned to two groups, experimental and control. The experimental group was given two days of training and regular follow-up. The study included 263 attorneys from two states and 37 different judicial districts -- and 4,274 children. The central finding: Lawyers who practiced according to the QIC Model did a better job representing the child and got improved results. 

The Six Core Skills summarizes the QIC Model and organizes the training and the subsequent practice of the lawyers.

Flint Multidisciplinary Team Study examined the nature and effectiveness of a lawyer-social worker team representing children in child welfare. Cases resolved more quickly; more family connections were preserved.

For advocates, policy makers, academics, and students the QIC gathered all the knowledge and information available about representing children in the child welfare system. This website includes a summary and links to all State Laws governing child representation and all the Academic Articles and Evaluations of Child Representation up to 2016. The entire website and all the resources are searchable. 

We hope the resources available here will assist the many of you who are working hard to improve the administration of justice for children. That is what this website is about – sharing the research, knowledge, evidence, best practices, core components, and essential competencies in the legal representation of children – all with the aim of improving outcomes for children and families.

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 additional information and assistance with the QIC-ChildRep Best Practice Model, Six Core Skills, Training, State Laws, and Policy Recommendations, and/or Title IV-E Funding for Legal Representation, please contact the National Association of Counsel for Children at Policy@NACCchildlaw.org.

Download a free PDF of Children's Justice here.

Order a free hard copy of Children's Justice here.