Child Welfare Hearing Quality Research: What Legal Professionals Should Know

As a legal professional who participates in child welfare court hearings, you can benefit from understanding how the quality of the hearing affects the case process and outcomes. Having this information can help you prepare for and participate in hearings. Research is starting to explore how the following activities and behaviors are associated with child welfare hearing quality and case process and outcomes:

  • The judge and court participants discuss key topics in a meaningful way.
  • Parents attend and engage meaningfully in hearings.
  • Children attend and engage meaningfully in hearings.
  • Parents are provided quality legal representation.
  • Children have quality legal representation.

This document highlights what is currently known and gaps in understanding. It was developed by the ABA Center on Children and the Law, James Bell Associates, and Principal Investigators Dr. Alicia Summers and Dr. Sophie Gatowski, with support from the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation and the Children’s Bureau.

Click to review brief.

Link to related resources from the Administration for Children and Families.

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