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Recommendations for Representation of Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases

NCJ Number
Children's Legal Rights Journal Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: Winter 2001-2002 Pages: 36-46
Date Published
11 pages
This paper contains recommendations for representation of children in abuse and neglect cases.
This paper is designed to assist children's attorneys, courts, and policymakers working to improve the legal representation of children. The focus is on representation of children in abuse and neglect proceedings, but the document also has application in private custody and adoption matters. The document provides a policy framework for the legal representation of children and a checklist of children's needs that representation should meet. Those needs include: (1) competent, independent, and zealous attorneys; (2) attorneys with adequate time and resources; (3) attorneys who understand their role and duties; (4) an opportunity to present their positions in court through counsel; (5) confidential communication with their attorneys; (6) being involved in the entire litigation process; (7) judicial review of adverse decisions; (8) the ability to hold their attorneys accountable; (9) permanence; (10) having their immediate needs met (food, clothing, shelter, safety); (11) family relationships; and (12) protection from harm that can result from legal proceedings. Resources, notes