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Raising the Bar: Representing Parents in Child Welfare

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Time: 3:15 PM - 4:45 PM
Presenters: Ms. Anne Reiniger
Mr. John D. Chambers
Mr. Timothy Charles Cotton
Hon. Michael Golden
Ms. Dona Playton
Credits: 1.5 (including 0.5 ethics)

Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over child abuse and neglect and termination of parental rights cases. Improving legal representation for parents in these cases is at the forefront of reform efforts across the country. When there are allegations of child abuse and neglect, many children are removed from their parent(s) and placed in foster care. The state is represented by a District or County Attorney, an attorney guardian ad litem is appointed to represent the best interests of the child and the parents are entitled to a court appointed attorney if they are indigent. If the child remains in foster care for 15 months, a termination of parental rights case to sever the legal parent-child relationship might be required.

Legal representation ensures that parents exercise their right to due process and assists the court in achieving permanency and ensuring safety of the child. The panelists will discuss the goals, resources and positive outcomes of quality parent legal representation including best practices and guidance about billing judgment and award of counsel fees as decided In The Matter of The Attorney’s fees and Costs in The Termination of Parental Rights to: NRF and JEF, Minor Children 2013 WY 9 (2012).