New Resources and Important Information

INTRODUCTION TO THE CLARO WEBSITE AND RESOURCES

If you are new to this site, please take a moment to watch a 3 minute video tour. Click here.

CLARO NEWSLETTER 

The CLARO E-News recaps the most recent posted articles from the previous month. Click for the most recent edition. 

CONGRATULATIONS! CHILD WELFARE LAW SPECIALISTS IN LOUISIANA

We are pleased to announce the list of attorneys who have successfully passed the exam to become a certified Child Welfare Law Specialist through the NACC. We will update this list as others earn this credential. We congratulation those on the list. Your dedication to children is outstanding! Click to view the list of Certified Child Welfare Law Specialists from Louisiana. For additional information about the NACC CWLS program, click here or contact Thailund Porter-Green, Training Director, Pelican Center for Children and Families (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

QUALIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS FOR ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CHILDREN IN NEED OF CARE

Since July, 2005 the Louisiana Supreme Court Division of Children and Families has been collecting and maintaining information received from attorneys pursuant to this Rule.  This list is a compilation based on information submitted to the Supreme Court and includes those attorneys qualified for appointment as counsel for children in child abuse and neglect cases as of the day indicated in the update notice. It is the continuing responsibility of each attorney to provide documentation of his/her qualifications to the Division of Children and Families.  Any attorney who has not submitted, prior to January 31 each year, evidence of attendance of at least six hours of approved continuing legal education in the past calendar year will no longer be considered as qualified under this Rule. Questions or comments about the list of qualified counsel for children in child abuse and neglect cases?  Please e-mail Curtis Nelson, Director, Division of Children and Families, Louisiana Supreme Court: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Use the 2018 Attorney Reporting Form for Submitting Hours.

SAFETY DECISION MAKING - UPDATED LEGAL TRAINING - September 9th in Monroe

This course will focus on key concepts and definitions (threats to child vulnerability and parental protective capacity) used to determine whether a child is safe or unsafe. Trainees will be exposed to an in – depth analysis and actions required by the state to ensure that reasonable efforts have been made to present or eliminate the need for removal of children from their home. “Safety planning in the child welfare system is a shared responsibility, but ultimately the court must make critical safety decisions such as whether to remove a child and when to return a child home. Registration is $25 and will cover lunch, refreshments, and training materials. DCFS staff may attend only with supervisory approval. DCFS Child Welfare Training Office will submit the names of all authorized attendees for registration. Register Here/More Information. 6 hours CLE or CEU, including one hour of legal professionalism.

CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS - September 17 in Alexandria

A curriculum adapted from the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership Cultural Competence Curriculum, presented by Patsy Wilkerson, M.A. This course introduces participants to concepts of cultural consciousness in the workplace and explores the impact of personal views and values regarding sexual orientation, gender, race and ethnicity on their role. Through activities, videos and group discussions, participants explore the roots of their biases and assumptions and how these dynamics affect their working relationships with others. During the course, participants are challenged to address issues concerning how their perspectives on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender are impacted by their world views. Participants also create and share strategies for raising awareness and interacting more effectively with individuals who are different from themselves. Click to Register or for more information. Sponsored by the Pelican Center for Children and Families. 6 hours CLE (including 1 hour of professionalism) and SW approved. $25 fee, includes lunch. Louisiana DCFS child welfare staff must register through their supervisor. Questions: Call 985-624-3514.

TOGETHER WE CONFERENCE - November 12-14 in Lafayette

The 17th Annual Together We Can Conference will be held in November at the Cajundome in Lafayette. Mark your calendar for this event. Currently scholarship applications are being accepted and nominations for the annual awards are open. The conference website with all related information is www.latwc.org.

Monday, 19 August 2019 17:05

The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID) and the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR) are partnering to produce a series of CLE webinars related to ethical issues specifically affecting attorneys who provide legal services to low-income clients. We would like to request input from legal aid/public interest as well as pro bono attorneys regarding potential topics for these webinars through a brief survey:

https://americanbar.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bf4paEoKNkTdqaV  The deadline for survey responses is August 31, 2019.

 

Thursday, 30 May 2019 15:31

Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services - May 15, 2019   The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is launching a new recruitment campaign for foster parents for teens. The campaign, launching amid National Foster Care Month, is part of the Department's ongoing commitment to improve outcomes for youth in foster care by increasing permanency and connections before they transition to adulthood. Link to news article.

 

Thursday, 25 April 2019 14:06

Joint Blog Discusses OJJDP and Children’s Bureau Partnership To Prevent Child Abuse

In a new joint blog, OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp and Children’s Bureau Associate Commissioner Jerry Milner discuss how both agencies are partnering to promote the safety and well-being of children and families in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month and throughout the year. The blog highlights the efforts of OJJDP and the Children’s Bureau within the Department of Health and Human Services to promote community partnerships and support efforts to address and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Friday, 05 April 2019 13:56

Each year in April, the President of the United States issues a proclamation to announce National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Many State Governors also issue proclamations to encourage public awareness of child abuse and neglect, recommit State resources to the cause, and promote community involvement through State and local activities. National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2019, The White House, Presents the President of the United States of America's proclamation.

Monday, 01 April 2019 14:06

In this Month's CBX: Child Abuse Prevention Month

 

The April 2019 issue of Children's Bureau Express highlights the need to reflect on what can be done to help create the conditions for strong and thriving families and communities where children are safe from abuse and neglect. Read the issue. https://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov.  Subscribe to CBX at https://www.childwelfare.gov/subscribe/.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 16:24

Announcing the launch of FamilyFirstAct.org. The database of resources promotes robust implementation of the historic Family First Act. 

Friday, 18 January 2019 14:13

Benchcards for Judicial Safety Decision Making

These benchcards were published as an accompanying tool to the book Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys. They are also referred to during the Safety Decision Making course presented by the Pelican Center for Children and Families - Court Improvement Program training.  The book can be accessed online. Click hereAuthors: Theresa Roe Lund MSSW and Jennifer L. Renne  Date: 2009

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 13:00

The 2019 catalog of training is now available and will provide you with a listing of all courses that are currently scheduled for the year. These courses are part of the Louisiana Court Improvement Program. We encourage all legal practitioners to mark your calendar for courses in your area. The cost to attend is either free or $25 per course. If you are attending an all-day course, lunch is also included. Please download and share this information.

Tuesday, 06 November 2018 20:25

by Jerry Milner and David Kelly  -  November 6, 2006

Far too often the wrong examples drive child welfare policy and practice in the United States.

We see it time and time again in jurisdictions where there is a child fatality; a formulaic response.  Negative stories run, resignations are sought, blue ribbon commissions or task forces assembled, recommendations made.

Perhaps a new policy is created or law passed to hold folks more accountable—often based on the facts of the most recently publicized tragedy as opposed to data and what we know children and families need.  Commonly, there are corresponding spikes in the number of kids removed from their homes, everyone becomes scared and that fear is reflected in social work and legal decision making.

Attention then turns to recruiting more foster homes to place the increasing numbers of kids coming into foster care and we create a demand for which supply will never be adequate. Dockets and caseloads swell, workforce stress and turnover become endemic, and children and parents often do not receive services or supports to meet their needs. Such reactions bring tragic consequences and affect tens of thousands of lives annually—the unnecessary separation of children from their parents and ensuing trauma. The child welfare system often becomes stuck in this cycle, and it comes at enormous human and financial cost. Yet, we continue to respond in the same damaging and costly way, over and over again.

As a field we know the trauma children experience when separated from their parents is considered a powerful adverse childhood experience that can lead to long-term health, relational, and self-sufficiency challenges. It is also highly traumatic for parents and can trigger relapse or decompensation for those that may be in recovery or struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues. In other words, fear of making a wrong decision can lead to over removal. Over removal is a near guarantee of harm to a much larger population and perpetuates intergenerational cycles of disruption and maltreatment. This is a quieter, more far-reaching tragedy.

Read the full article

 
Child Law Practice (CLP) Today, published by the ABA Center on Children and the Law, is a free online resource for child law practitioners. Practical articles tied to the ABA Center on Children and the Law's primary areas of work, and the work of our partners in the field, will be shared as they are published and may be accessed at www.childlawpractice.org. Past articles from the parent publication, Child Law Practice, are also freely accessible.
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:03

We want to share this quick 5-minute overview with you about the Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys that was co-authored by Jennifer Renne and Theresa Roe-Lund. We use this textbook and the bench cards in our Safety Decision Making courses that we host in Louisiana. We offer a one-hour webinar and a 6 hour class periodically. Click for the video link.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018 11:14

The All Children - All Families Webinar Series kicks off tomorrow, August 1st at 3:00 PM ET with our introductory 90-minute offering on LGBTQ competency for child welfare professionals. This webinar, along with our two other core offerings on serving LGBTQ parents and LGBTQ youth, will be presented live monthly from August to March and available on demand. All three core webinars provide 1.5 CE credits from NASW at a cost of $40/webinar. Click here to register and learn more about purchasing CEs. Note: Employees at ACAF participating agencies are eligible for a 50% discount on CEs. If your agency participates in ACAF, ask your team’s ACAF leads for the discount code to submit at time of purchase. Not sure if your agency is eligible? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or request to participate today.

Looking for in-person staff training? ACAF’s 3-part training series is also eligible for NASW CE credit -- up to 18 hours! Learn more at hrc.im/acaf-training. Sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign.

Monday, 21 May 2018 12:00

There is a newly updated APP available for Apple and Android devices that was developed by the Louisiana Children's Justice Act Taskforce. This APP has national, state and parish level resources for those who work in the field of child welfare. It also has the state's Safe Haven locations listed by parish. Please share the APP flyer so that more people begin using the APP. 

Monday, 14 May 2018 11:28

The growing opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency. It's sparked a parallel crisis you rarely hear about: the impact on children neglected by addicted parents. More than one million American children now live with grandparents, primarily because of their parent's addiction to opioids and other drugs: heroin, crack, meth and alcohol. Grandparents are putting off retirement and plowing through savings to rescue their grandchildren from dangerous situations.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioid-epidemic-leaving-grandparents-to-raise-grandchildren/

CBS Sixty Minutes Report

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:51

CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part Three: Adoption, Foster Home Recruitment, Reunification and More (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change - February 15, 2018

The foster care prevention services and the limits on congregate care are the central reasons for this legislation. But there are several significant provisions that are included in the bill that became law.

Also: CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part One: Services to Prevent Foster Care: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-anatomy-massive-child-welfare-entitlement-reform

Also: CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part Two: Limiting Support for Congregate Foster Care: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-act-part-one-services-prevent-foster-care/29896

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-act-part-three-adoption-foster-home-recruitment-reunification/29897

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 11:48

State supreme courts are increasingly being asked to provide guidance about requests for findings related to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).[1] An immigrant youth can only seek SIJS, a form of humanitarian immigration relief, from the federal government after securing a state court order that includes specific findings. As the number of immigrant children and youth seeking SIJS has increased, more state trial and appellate courts are asked to consider petitions for findings in specific cases and, more broadly, the role of a state court in the SIJS process.

Several appellate decisions focus on whether the trial court can enter any SIJS findings. Others address more discrete areas, such as what a trial court with jurisdiction over youth under 18 should do when the young person reaches the age of majority in the state. In a recent case, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (the court of last resort in Washington, D.C.) addressed the finding of reunification of an immigrant youth with a parent not being viable due to abandonment. Read the rest of the article, click here.  Source: ABA Child Law Practice Today.  January 24, 2018 by Cristina Cooper

 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 16:53

In early 2017, the American Bar Association officially passed a policy adopting the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education (LCFCE) Blueprint for Change: Education Success for Children in Foster Care (http://fostercareandeducation.org/AreasofFocus/BlueprintforChange.aspx) and the Legal Center for Youth Justice and Education (LCYJE) Blueprint for Change: Education Success for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (https://www.jjeducationblueprint.org/). Both Blueprints were produced under the leadership of the ABA Center on Children and the Law through partnerships with the Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The ABA's endorsement of the two Blueprints means the nation's largest legal association stands behind the approaches contained in each Blueprint and supports their widespread adoption. The ABA calls on judges, lawyers, and other legal practitioners to advocate for improved policies and practices that support education success for court-involved youth. The ABA also calls on federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local legislatures, government agencies, and courts to adopt laws, regulations, policies, and court rules to implement the Blueprints. There are two documents. The first (PDF) is the ABA policy language. The second provides more information about the implications this ABA policy can have in the field broadly and for your individual jurisdictions.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 12:29

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recently passed resolutions and policy statements on how to improve the lives of youth and families involved with juvenile or family courts. The resolutions address the needs of homeless youth and families, support a developmental approach to juvenile probation, and recognize the need for independent oversight of youth confinement facilities. The Council also released two bench cards: one with guidance on working with youth regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and one on applying principles of adolescent development in delinquency proceedings. In addition, the Council released a guide of principles and practices addressing custody and visitation.

Thursday, 07 September 2017 12:01

The US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Office for Civil Rights have compiled documents that provide guidance to ensure that child welfare agencies and state court systems are aware of their responsibilities to protect the civil rights of children and families in the child welfare system. The attached documents will address policy for Title VI, Disabilities, and Disproportionality issues.

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