Law and Best Practices - CLARO

Law and Best Practices (4)

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) became law in February 2018. FFPSA is a landmark child welfare law with the potential to establish significant changes in how the child welfare system is funded and operates across the country. Provisions especially relevant to the legal community are:

Click here for the ABA chart.

OJJDP’s Updated AMBER Alert Best Practices Guide Now Available

The Office of Justice Programs has announced the publication of OJJDP’s updated “AMBER Alert Best Practices” guide. This resource provides a “what works” approach to responding to cases of missing or abducted children at the state and regional levels. “Protecting children—especially those whose lives are in imminent danger—is fundamental to the mission of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,” said OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp. “This new resource will give our regional, state, and local AMBER Alert partners the latest information, solicited from veteran public safety officials and seasoned experts, on how to respond swiftly and effectively to child abductions.”

A Guide for State Court Judges and Lawyers on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

This article describes the role of state courts and legal practitioners in a young person’s journey toward gaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Recent ABA policy resolutions support undocumented children’s access to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and other forms of immigration relief.

This article was prepared in collaboration with the American Bar Association - Center for Children's Law and the Pelican Center for Children and Families. 


Determining if a Child is Safe

The basic and most important determination judges make in child in need of care cases is whether a child(ren) is safe. Critical safety decisions are made when removing a child and determining whether a child should return home. However, without a comprehensive decision-making structure and thorough inquiry, decisions can lead to over and under removal, leaving children unsafe or returning them home too quickly. 

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has implemented a research-based, structured safety assessment process designed to avoid these problems. It is the responsibility of all individuals involved in a case to understand the goal of child safety, the terminology used when discussing safety, and the type of information needed to make good decisions about child safety.

This bulletin was developed in 2016 by the Pelican Center for Children and Families with assistance from ABA Center for Children and the Law and the Pelican Center/Louisiana Child Welfare Training Academy Training and Education Committee members. Please download and share!