Law and Best Practices - CLARO

Law and Best Practices (4)

Michigan has never faced a challenge like COVID-19. The pandemic is not only taking lives and battering our economy, but also challenging the strength of our institutions. From day one, our judiciary has met this challenge with unmatched dedication to public service and an unwavering commitment to innovation in keeping courts operating and accessible to the public. By working together, we have addressed immediate concerns regarding how our courts provide essential services and have ramped up our ability to hear other business in virtual courtrooms. Now, as responsible stewards of our justice system, we must develop a strategy for returning to full capacity that works for our 57 circuit courts, 78 probate courts, 107 district and municipal courts, more than 160 different funding units, and 559 independently-elected judgeships. However, we cannot have 559 different plans; our judiciary must have one plan that clearly describes the steps that must be taken to protect public health while getting our branch of government back to full speed. Administrative Order No. 2020-14 provides the authority and this document provides the specific guidance trial courts need to move forward. Michigan. Supreme Court. 2020 


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.

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!