The attached document was compiled by Karen Hallstrom, Louisiana Supreme Court. This list is a review of legislation from the 2015 Spring Session that impacts children & families.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Children's Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division have entered into a new collaborative partnership to assist state and local child welfare agencies and courts in meeting their responsibilities to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of America's children and their families while at the same time ensuring compliance with federal civil rights laws.  The Children's Bureau administers funds and provides guidance, training, and technical assistance on federal child welfare law.  OCR and DOJ enforce a number of civil rights laws that apply to state and local government entities and recipients of federal financial support involved in the child welfare system.  Recipients of federal financial assistance, including financial support from the Children's Bureau, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and, in the context of their education programs on the basis of sex, and must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Age Act of 1975 (Age Act), and the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, as amended (MEPA), and their implementing regulations.  In addition, state and local government entities must comply with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The goals of the child welfare and nondiscrimination laws are mutually attainable and complementary; for example, ensuring that parents and prospective parents have equal access to parenting opportunities without encountering artificial barriers posed by discrimination improves the lives of the children in their care.  However, OCR and DOJ have determined that, in some cases, discriminatory barriers exist that have denied biological, foster, and adoptive parents and prospective parents  an equal opportunity to benefit from protections and services offered to others in the child welfare system.  They are thus joining with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to issue practical guidance to supplement their enforcement activities.

Link to Full Text of the Cover letter:

Link to Full Text of the Technical Assistance Document:

Link to PDF of Full Text of the Technical Assistance Document:

Issue 3: A Critical Look at Child Protection

Stacia Walling Driver and Wright S. Walling, Examining the Intersection of Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Issues with the Juvenile Protection System Timelines as Related to Concurrent Planning and Termination of Parental Rights

This article is from the William Mitchell Law Review Journal. The link will take you directly to the article.

July 2015

Published in Children's Justice Act

Issue 3: A Critical Look at Child Protection

Victor I. Vieth, From Sticks to Flowers: Guidelines for Child Protection Professionals Working with Parents Using Scripture to Justify Corporal Punishment

This article is from the William Mitchell Law Review Journal. The link will take you directly to the article.

July 2015

This report begins with a review of federal appropriations activity in FY2015 as it relates to child welfare programs, including the effect of the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. The rest of the report provides a short description of each federal child welfare program, including its purpose and recent (FY2012-FY2015) funding levels. Information is provided that indicates final FY2015 child welfare funding ($7.971 billion) was appropriated as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235). It is explained that beginning with FY2013, some discretionary and mandatory funding amounts appropriated for child welfare programs have been reduced under the sequestration measures provided for in the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25), and that the effect of these sequestration measures varies by fiscal year and type for funding authority. It is determined that for FY2015, funding provided on a discretionary basis in P.L. 113-235 is within the established spending caps and is not expected to be affected by sequestration. The report goes on to explain that the largest amount of federal funding provided to child welfare programs is through mandatory funding authorized under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act and is statutorily exempted from sequestration; however, a few child welfare programs that receive mandatory funding may be subject to sequestration, including funding provided for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program. For nonexempt mandatory child welfare funding, it is reported the final FY2015 funding level must be reduced from the otherwise appropriated levels by 7.3%. 16 tables and 100 references.

Access the full report here.

This is the second of a series of articles that examines the role that advocates for parents and families can play in furthering the well-being and safety of children. This article highlights emerging parent representation models that expedite the safe reunification of children already in foster care. Written by Vivek S. Sankaran, Patricia L. Rideout and Martha L. Raimon.

"Effective child welfare leaders are not interested in adversarial relationships with parents or their attorneys. They are invested in accomplishing their mission: making sure children, youth and families get what they need so that every child can grow up in a
safe and stable family."    - Patricia L. Rideout, Former Administrator, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Division of Children and Family Services

Click to access the full article.


Published in Parents' Attorneys

Youth Advocate to Advocate for Youth:  The Next Transition 

 by Lacy Kendrick Burk and Johanna Bergan

Advocate for Youth. The steps are not defined by age or other demographic but instead by personal experience. The transition period will take varying lengths of time for each individual to complete. While this guide may be useful for those anywhere on this journey, it may be most applicable to those ages 15-30 and adults who support youth voice.

Published in Children's Justice Act
Page 7 of 7

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