Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Child Welfare Agencies

The purpose of these standards is to improve the quality of child welfare agency representation and uniformity of practice throughout the country. Many agency attorneys who read these standards may recognize their practice in this document. The standards are meant to improve practice, but also to be realistically attainable by individual jurisdictions.

The standards were written with the help of a committee of practicing agency attorneys and child welfare professionals from different jurisdictions in the country. With their help, the standards were written with the difficulties of day-to-day practice in mind, but also with the goal of raising the quality of representation as much as possible. While local adjustments may be necessary to incorporate these standards into practice, jurisdictions should strive to meet the fundamental principles and spirit of the standards.

The standards are divided into the following five categories: - Definitions - Role of the Agency Attorney, including a list of the Basic Obligations - Fulfilling the Obligations - Ethical and Practice Considerations - Administrative Responsibilities, including a list of the Basic Obligations of an Agency Attorney Manager