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06/01/17   Supreme Court Children's Commission Is Providing Scholarships for Attorneys for the Child Abuse Track at the Advanced Family Law Conference - Deadline June 5
 

The Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission is offering registration scholarships to attorneys for the Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Track at the annual State Bar of Texas' Advanced Family Law Conference. This track covers current topics of interest to Texas attorneys who practice on the CPS docket. The Advanced Family Law CLE 1-Day CAN track will be held live in San Antonio, Texas, on August 9, 2017, with upcoming video replays in Houston on September 22, 2017; Dallas on September 29; and South Padre on October 13. The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm Monday, June 5, 2017. To access the application, click here.

 

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06/01/17 Attorney Training Scholarships- Due June 5
04/14/17 Key Hearing on 2 CPS Reform Bills on 4/17
04/14/17 Call for Nominations - Deadline May 1
04/06/17 Key Hearing on AAL Appointment - April 10
03/23/17 Key Hearing on 2 CPS Reform Bills on 3/27
03/17/17 Key Hearing on 3 CPS Reform Bills on 3/20
03/08/17 Contact House Human Services Committee
03/07/17 HB 6 & Privatization of Case Management
03/01/17 Texas Senate Passes CPS Reform Bill SB 11
03/01/17 House Passes HB 4 & 5 to Reform CPS
02/03/17 Child Protection Day Rally at Capitol-2/7
02/03/17 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 2/5
01/31/17 Key Hearing on Bill to Change DFPS - 2/2
01/30/17 See House CPS Workgroup Press Conference
01/09/17 Interim Order in Federal Class Action
12/10/16 New Federal Education Law - ESSA
11/04/16 See Special Masters' Recommendations
10/27/16 See Hank Whitman's Emergency Plan
10/12/16 Hearing - CPS Plan to Improve Child Safety
09/27/16 NCJFCJ Implementation Sites - Due 9/30
09/22/16 Key Federal Legislation Pending Now
09/12/16 Congressional Briefing on Right to Counsel
07/08/16 Hearing-House Human Services Cmte 7/12
07/07/16 Latest Appeal Denied in Class Action
06/27/16 Judicial Travel Scholarships - HHS Summit
06/21/16 New Deputy Asst. Commissioner for CPS
05/09/16 Child Welfare Law Specialization - Comment
04/27/16 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due May 2
04/20/16 Celebration of Karyn Purvis on Sat. 4/23
04/15/16 Hear Hon. Scott McCown on CPS Crisis
04/12/16 Loss of Karyn Purvis, Ph.D. on April 12
04/11/16 New Leaders for DFPS & CPS Appointed
03/21/16 Special Masters Appointed in Federal Case
03/10/16 Call for Nominations - Deadline April 1
03/04/16 DFPS Commissioner Specia Resigns Eff. 5/31
02/26/16 Give Input on CPS Caseworker Skills by 3/5
01/26/16 Update on Federal Case on Foster Care
01/04/16 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 1/8
12/17/15 Decision in Foster Care Class Action
11/02/15 Budget Takes from Crime Vicitms Fund
10/28/15 Over-Medication of Foster Children
10/25/15 Report on Misuse of Antipsychotic Drugs
09/09/15 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 9/22
08/11/15 Children's Commission's Legislative Update
07/15/15 Update on Changes to Family Code
06/01/15 Attorney Scholarships- Due 6/15 & 6/22
05/22/15 See Family Code Changes Effective April 2
04/22/15 Key Hearings in House Committees on 4/22
04/20/15 See Legislative Update as of April 20
04/20/15 Key Hearings April 20 on HB 1014 & SB 414
03/31/15 Pending Legislation on Child Protection
03/30/15 Call for Nominations - Deadline April 14
03/05/15 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 3/10
11/19/14 Federal Student Aid for Foster Youth
11/12/14 Public Hearing on HHSC & DFPS Nov. 13
10/10/14 See CPS Case Process Brief & Flowcharts
09/22/14 Help on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
09/12/14 NACC Membership Discount Extended-10/31
09/01/14 New Rules For Screening Foster Parents
08/01/14 Foster Care Redesign Contract Terminated
06/17/14 Key Hearings on DFPS 6/24 & 6/25
06/06/14 Supreme Court Rules on Unfound Ground
06/03/14 Statewide Child Welfare Law Conference
05/30/14 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 6/27
05/15/14 House Select Committee on Child Protection
04/22/14 Key Hearing on Juvenile Justice - 4/22
04/14/14 Key Hearing on Foster Care Redesign - 4/15
03/05/14 April 9 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
02/18/14 New Paper Takes Aim at ICPC Flaws
02/12/14 Key Senate Hearing on CPS - Thurs., 2/20
02/03/14 DOJ Asked to Investigate ICWA Violations
01/21/14 USSC to Interpret Child Porn Restitution
01/17/14 New CPS Asst. Commissioner Appointed
01/17/14 New Transitional Housing for Young Adults
10/22/13 See Legislative Update on Family Code
10/08/13 TLC Now Offers Online CLE Programs
10/04/13 New Resources - Education Advocacy
10/03/13 See Paper Analyzing In re E.C.R.
09/06/13 New Resources - Trauma-Informed Practice
09/05/13 See Compelling Video on ICWA & the Courts
08/23/13 ICE Now Focusing on Parental Interests
08/23/13 See Legislative Update on Child Abuse
08/22/13 Give National Input on Attorney Pay Rates
07/30/13 FBI Thwarts Child Prostitution Scheme
06/26/13 USSC Allows Non-Indian Adoption - ICWA
06/17/13 TX SCt on O Grounds & Removal for "Risk"
06/17/13 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due 7/5
05/28/13 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due 6/14
05/20/13 Statewide Child Welfare Law Conference
04/22/13 Key Legislative Hearings on April 22 & 23
04/16/13 Key Hearings & New Legislative Update
04/03/13 Child-Related Bills with Recent Activity
03/29/13 Child Protection Day at Capitol - April 5
03/29/13 See Updated Legislative Summary
03/20/13 April 8 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
03/12/13 Scholarships for ABA Training-Due April 12
03/11/13 Hearing on Protective Orders - Mar. 12
02/28/13 Study on Mental Health of Detained Youth
02/18/13 Chart of Bills Affecting CPS Cases
02/14/13 Hearing on Child Protection Issues Feb. 19
02/11/13 Key Hearing on DFPS Budget - Feb. 14
02/01/13 Pending Legislation on Child Protection
01/30/13 GAO Report on Use of Title IV-B Funds
01/09/13 New Comm'n on Child Abuse Deaths
01/02/13 Adoption Tax Credit Made Permanent
01/01/13 Congress Passes Bill to Amend FERPA
12/31/12 GAO Report on Children's Mental Health
12/01/12 Judge Specia New Commissioner of DFPS
10/12/12 Deportation Insufficient for Termination
09/13/12 Key Hearing on Foster Care Redesign
08/13/12 LSSS Loses Bid to Privatize Foster Care
08/07/12 ABA Passes Resolution Regarding FASD
07/09/12 TX SCt Rules on Citation by Publication
06/19/12 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 6/28
05/24/12 Attorney Training Scholarships - Due 6/6
05/21/12 Children's Justice Act Grants - Due 6/ 29
05/03/12 Seminal Report -Education of Foster Youth
03/23/12 5th Cir. Decertifies Class re Foster Care
03/15/12 Report - Foster Care Licensing Standards
03/06/12 Report on Effect of CPS Budget on Services
02/03/12 TLC Replicates Online Center for Alabama
01/19/12 TX Settles Risperdal Suit for $158M
01/09/12 April 13 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
12/15/11 Bench Book on Child-Friendly Courtrooms
10/17/11 BBC Report on US Child Abuse Deaths
10/01/11 New Law on Foster Youth Identity Theft
09/29/11 NCJFCJ Judicial Training Scholarships
09/28/11 See Legislative Summary Regarding CPS
09/19/11 Study on Link Between Recession & Abuse
08/17/11 See Texas Child Well-Being Statistics
08/07/11 Possible Court Protest on Friday, Aug. 12
07/13/11 See Legislative Update on Child Abuse
06/20/11 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 6/24
06/20/11 USSC Rules Re Child Support Obligor
06/16/11 USSC Holds Age Is a Factor for Miranda
05/05/11 Foster Care Redesign- Comment by 6/1
05/05/11 Attorney Training Scholarships-Due 5/20
04/11/11 See Legislative Update re Child Protection
03/31/11 Scholarships for ABA Training-Due April 8
03/29/11 Class Action Filed re TX Foster Children
03/15/11 April 1 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
02/25/11 Pending Legislation on Child Protection
12/14/10 Nat'l Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths
12/09/10 Free ABA Training, Dec. 15 at 11:00 am
12/08/10 ABA Seeks Input on Youth in Court
11/19/10 TLC Receives Award for Innovation
10/11/10 TLC Selected as Award Finalist
09/29/10 Faller Discusses Parental Alienation Issue
09/21/10 TX Ranks 50th in Child Abuse Prevention
09/20/10 New Report on Deaths From Child Abuse
09/14/10 Abused, Undocumented Children
08/11/10 Paper on Constitutional Rights of Children
08/11/10 R. Darin Darby Receives State Bar Award
08/10/10 ABA Policies on Child Abuse Proceedings
07/27/10 Jeffs' Convictions Reversed & Remanded
07/22/10 Child Abuse Cmte. Celebrates 25 Years
07/01/10 Travis County Model Court Newsletter
06/30/10 Scholarships for Child Abuse Workshop
05/01/10 DFPS to Redesign Foster Care in Texas
04/30/10 Shaken Baby Injuries Rise
04/15/10 See Letters by Hon, John Specia (Ret.)
04/13/10 Model Court's Seminar on Family Finding
04/09/10 Managing Attorney Position Open in Austin
03/24/10 April 1 Call for Nominations - Bar Award
03/18/10 NACC Reports on Nebraska GAL System
03/17/10 Third Circuit Issues First Sexting Opinion
03/02/10 Annual Report from Austin Model Court
02/26/10 Childress to Answer Judges' Questions
02/25/10 NACC Scholarships Available on March 1
02/18/10 New Tools for Judges in JD Cases
02/12/10 CCCP Releases 2009-10 Databook
12/16/09 See GAO Report on Seclusion & Restraint
11/10/09 "Sexploited" Teens Testify to House Cmte.
10/29/09 Challenge to TX Public-Indecency Law
10/28/09 Scholarships -Juv. Drug Court Training
10/26/09 FLDS Criminal Trial Begins in Eldorado
10/21/09 TX Leads Nation in Child Abuse Deaths
09/29/09 New Email Network for Drug Court Judges
09/22/09 Pro Bono Attorneys Available to Help You
08/11/09 See Charles Childress' Legislative Update
08/03/09 Richard Lavallo Receives State Bar Award
08/01/09 TLC's Director Receives National Award
07/16/09 See Update on Legislation Impacting CPS
07/01/09 See Legislative Update on Child Abuse
06/29/09 Paper on Gates Case Implications
06/25/09 USSC Finds AZ Strip Search Illegal
06/19/09 Gov. Perry Vetoes SB 1440
04/01/09 Charles Childress Joins TLC's Team
04/01/09 Raise Awareness About Child Abuse
03/10/09 Read House Testimony on CPS
03/02/09 Understanding Fostering Connections
02/28/09 Pending Legislation on Child Abuse
02/17/09 Call for Nominations for State Bar Award
02/12/09 Federal Court Decides Autism Case
02/04/09 CPPP Analyzes CPS Caseworker Turnover
01/06/09 See 2009 Statistics on Texas Children
12/22/08 See DFPS' Report on Eldorado FLDS Case
12/17/08 Representing Immigrant Children
12/12/08 Shop Online, Save Money, & Help TLC!
12/10/08 TLC Launches Website for California
11/17/08 Report on Medical Plan for Foster Children
11/03/08 Report on Impact of Federal Law on TX
10/13/08 Sex Offenders Must Register Email
10/08/08 Child Pornography Prosecution Expanded
10/08/08 Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
10/07/08 New Federal Child Welfare Law
09/22/08 TDFPS Kinship Care Program Evaluated
09/10/08 Association of Child Protection Judges
08/22/08 TDFPS Issues Advisory After Gates
08/18/08 Hon. S. McCown re 4th Amendment
08/11/08 Charles Childress Receives Award
08/01/08 FLDS Children's Attorney Reimbursement
07/28/08 Fourth Amendment & CPS Investigations
06/25/08 Death Penalty for Child Rape Rejected
06/25/08 USSC Upholds Confrontation Right
06/02/08 Judge Orders Return of FLDS Children
05/29/08 Supreme Court Denies Writ in FLDS Case
05/22/08 Court of Appeals Rules in FLDS Case
05/19/08 USSC Rules on Child Pornography
05/16/08 Mentors Available for FLDS Attorneys
05/01/08 Amicus Brief Filed in FLDS Case
04/14/08 TLC Is Assisting in FLDS Case
04/14/08 FLDS Case Needs Pro Bono Mentors
03/17/08 CJE: Family Violence & Child Abuse Credit
03/17/08 May 9 CLE on Child Molesters
02/02/08 See Report on Educating Foster Children
12/20/07 TLC's Director on Commission's Council
12/05/07 CJA Grant Funds Are Available
11/30/07 Supreme Court Awards Grant to TLC
11/20/07 Supreme Court Creates New Commission
11/12/07 ABA Center Staff Attorney Job Posting
11/01/07 FASD Funding for Courts and Others
10/08/07 See Report on Federal Funds for CPS
09/25/07 Supreme Court Holds Public Hearing
09/11/07 Supreme Court Sets Public Hearing
08/24/07 See Sampson's Legislative Update
08/13/07 Hon. Gil Jones Serves as Moderator
08/09/07 Hurley Honored by State Bar Committee
07/17/07 See TLC's Legislative Update
06/19/07 SB 758 Repeals CPS Privatization
05/31/07 Exciting Communication Tool for Judges!
05/31/07 TLC Begins Pro Bono Network
04/04/07 CA Is First State to Use TLC Model
04/03/07 CPPP Issues Paper on Privatization
03/22/07 SB 758 Committee Substitute Filed
03/15/07 Dr. Kellogg Available for Questions
01/22/07 CPPP Issues Child Protection Papers
12/10/06 Website Helps Youth Transition
12/06/06 Bill Filed to Deprivatize Certain Services
11/30/06 Nat'l Methamphetamine Awareness Day
11/14/06 Sen. Nelson Considers CPS Privatization
11/09/06 Class Action Against FL Agency
10/25/06 Dr. Bruce Perry to Speak in Dallas
10/14/06 Child Welfare Law Specialists Certified
08/10/06 Statement of Points Must Be Specific
08/03/06 Frivolous Hearing Held Constitutional
07/14/06 Uniform Act Regarding Children Published
05/16/06 Standing Challenged by Motion to Dismiss
03/29/06 Unborn Child Drug Convictions Reversed
03/27/06 C. Childress Joins Colleague Connection!
02/28/06 AG Says 'Meet' w/ Child Means in Person
02/09/06 Houston Court Upholds Embryo Contract
01/16/06 Link to CPS & Licensing Handbooks Here
12/28/05 AG Says New Law Is Unconstitutional
11/14/05 Evidence Expert to Take Site Users' Calls
10/11/05 ABA Substance Abuse CLE to Be at SMU
07/22/05 Can't Find It Here? Request a Resource!
07/22/05 See Sampson/Tindall's Legislative Update
06/27/05 USSC Rules on Protective Orders
06/15/05 Colleague Connection Has GROWN!
06/01/05 TLC Helps Other States Create Websites
05/31/05 Senate Bill 6 Makes Sweeping Changes
05/15/05 Seek/Share Information on Experts
05/07/05 TLC's Coming Attractions
02/17/05 Questions? Contact TLC's Help Desk
VIEW ALL OTHER NEWS ITEMS(If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here.)
01/19/12   Johnson & Johnson to Pay $158 Million to Settle Texas Risperdal Medicaid Fraud Case
 

In the middle of trial, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $158 million to settle Texas' claims that the drug manufacturer had fraudulently marketed the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal by promoting it for uses not approved by the FDA, including use for children with psychiatric disorders. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., who works with abused and neglected children, testified, as an expert for the State, that young people "are more vulnerable" to the side effects of anti-psychotic drugs, including weight gain, drowsiness, and sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms. Another expert testified that Johnson & Johnson hid three studies that showed that Risperdal causes diabetes in some patients. One study showed that Risperdal causes "medically serious weight gain" that leads patients to develop diabetes. To view an article about the settlement, click here.

01/09/12   The State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Seeks Nominations for Its Annual Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families
 

The State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect is seeking nominations for its annual Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families. The award is named after Ms. Rutland in recognition of her exceptional leadership as a founding member and chair of the Committee for over 20 years and her continuing dedication and many ongoing contributions to the field of child welfare. The award honors an attorney who has made a substantial contribution to the field of advocacy for abused and neglected children. The deadline for nominations is April 13, 2012. Click here to view the nomination form.

12/15/11   Bench Book on Judicial Considerations for Creating Child-Friendly Courtrooms Is Now Available
 

Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas, in collaboration with the Texas Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families, the Children's Justice Act Project, and the Texas Center for the Judiciary, has developed a Bench Book focusing on judicial considerations for creating child-friendly courtrooms. Recognizing that the judicial process and courtroom design present difficulties for child witnesses, this Bench Book discusses ways to facilitate child testimony and decrease the psychological trauma associated with court involvement for children. The Bench Book includes relevant case law and practical recommendations for judges and attorneys. The considerations provided are valuable ways to move towards child-friendly courtrooms that recognize the specific physical, developmental, and emotional needs of children while preserving the integrity of the judicial process. Click here to view the Bench Book.

10/17/11   BBC Releases Its Investigative Report on U.S. Child Abuse Deaths — "America's Child Abuse Shame"
 

On October 17, 2011, the BBC released worldwide the results of its months-long investigation of child maltreatment fatalities in the U.S. The report, "America's Child Death Shame," discusses the problem of child deaths in America by focusing on Texas, which has the highest rate of child deaths from abuse in the country. The report includes comments from several Texas professionals, including Audrey Deckinga, Asst. Commissioner for CPS, Madeline McClure, Executive Director of TexProtects ( Texas Association for Protection of Children), and Matthew Cox, M.D., Medical Director of the REACH Clinic at Children's Medical Center. The Every Child Matters Education Fund, one of the organizations participating in the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths, noted that despite up to 2,500 child deaths a year in America, national media in the U.S. have never reported on the issue in as comprehensive a manner as the BBC has now done. The National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths hopes that the BBC's report will prompt a federal inquiry and a national strategy for combating the problem. To watch segments of the BBC report online, click here and then click on each of the various segments of the report to view all of them. To view the recommendations of the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths, see TLC's Recent News item dated December 14, 2010. To learn more about the work of the Every Child Matters Education Fund, click here.

10/01/11   Federal Legislation Requires Free Credit Reports for Foster Youth Aging Out of Care
 

On Sept. 30, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act. It contains a provision from the proposed Foster Youth Financial Security Act that requires states to provide free credit reports to youth age 16 or older until they are discharged from foster care. The administration is preparing regulations for implementation of the requirement. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) is the sponsor of the Foster Youth Financial Security Act, which has not passed Congress in its entirety. Click here to view a news article about the new legislation.

09/29/11   NCJFCJ Is Providing Several Scholarships for a Judicial Training Program
 

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is providing several scholarships for its judicial training program, "2011 Managing Challenging Family Law Cases," which is being co-sponsored by NCJFCJ and the National Judicial College. The conference is being held from October 24-27, 2011, in Reno, Nevada. The scholarship covers the $985 tuition fee, and the participant is responsible for the $245 conference fee and all travel expenses. To learn more about the training program and the scholarships, click here.

09/28/11   CPPP Issues Legislative Summary Regarding Child Protective Services
 

The Center for Public Policy Priorities has issued a summary of new legislation affecting Child Protective Services. The summary notes that the 2005 and 2007 Legislatures overhauled the CPS system, including additional funding for caseworkers and services. It also notes that the 2009 Legislature continued reform efforts by increasing funding to keep more kids safe in their own homes or with relatives. CPPP concludes, however, that to a certain degree, due primarily to severe budget cuts, the 2011 Legislature lost the momentum of past reform efforts. The summary points out that although CPS fared better than most state agencies as to budget cuts, the 2011 Legislature slashed prevention and did not fund caseload growth. On the other hand, the summary explains that the 2011 Legislature did continue efforts to improve the structure of the CPS system through legislation to improve the parental child safety placement process, legal representation in CPS cases, parental involvement in service plans, and services for children in foster care. To view the summary, click here

09/19/11   Study Reveals Possible Link Between Recession & Abusive Head Trauma
 

Results of a study published in the journal Pediatrics showed an increase in abusive head trauma cases between 2004 and 2009. The study examined 422 diagnoses of children under 5 in 74 counties. The number of cases rose from 9 per 100,000 children before the recession to almost 15 per 100,000 during the recession. The article is entitled "Abusive Head Trauma During a Time of Increased Unemployment: A Multicenter Analysis." To view the article, click here.

08/17/11   See Texas Child Well-Being Statistics in Annual Kids Count Data Book
 

The Center for Public Policy Priorities has issued a press release regarding Texas's ranking in a national study of child well-being. The 2011 National Kids Count Data Book, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that Texas ranks 35th among the states in key indicators of child health and well-being. Of all children living in poverty in the country, one in nine lives in Texas. To view the CPPP press release, click here. To view the Texas Fact Sheet, click here. To view the Data Book, click here.

08/07/11   NCJFCJ Has Issued a News Alert Regarding a Nationwide Protest Directed at Family Courts, GAL'S, and Child Protective Services Workers
 

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has issued a news alert saying that it has learned of a nationwide protest that is planned for this Friday, August 12, by an organization called "govabuse," which is reportedly going to direct its protest against Child Protective Services workers, family court judges, and guardians ad litem. At this time, the protest is planned from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside courthouses in at least 42 states around the nation. The group's website identifies 12 Texas counties where protests are planned. To visit the group's website to see the list of Texas protest sites, click here. Current NCJFCJ President, Hon. Patricia Martin, was recently quoted in a Southern Poverty Law Center blog about the protest. Although the protest is billed as nonviolent, TLC wanted you to be aware of the possibility that this may be happening in your county. To learn more and to view the comments of Judge Martin, click here.

07/13/11   Update on New Legislation Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect Is Now Available Here
 

Sandra Hachem, Senior Asst. County Attorney in the Harris County Attorney's Office and a member of the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, has graciously provided TLC with her latest update of new legislation concerning child abuse and neglect. This update dicusses new laws passed in the 2011 legislative session which impact child abuse and neglect issues and would be of particular interest to judges and attorneys handling suits filed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Click here to view Ms. Hachem's legislative update.

06/20/11   Children's Commission Is Providing Attorney Registration Scholarships for NACC's 34th National Conference - Deadline June 24
 

The Texas Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families is providing a limited number of scholarships for Texas attorneys to attend the 34th National Child Welfare, Juvenile, and Family Law Conference sponsored by the National Association of Counsel for Children, which will be held from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, 2011, at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is the close of business on Friday, June 24. The scholarship covers registration only and does not include expenses for travel or lodging. To view the requirements to be eligible to apply and to access the application form, click here.

06/20/11   U. S. Supreme Court Rules that Child Support Obligors Faced with Incarceration Are Not Entitled to Legal Representation, but Court Must Find Ability to Pay
 

On June 20, 2011, the U. S. Supreme Court, in Turner v. Rogers, held that a child support obligor faced with incarceration for civil contempt is not entitled to legal representation. The Court ruled, however, that the state must ensure that "alternative procedural safeguards" are in place, such as notice to the obligor that ability to pay is a critical issue, a fair opportunity to present and to refute evidence, and an express finding by the court that the obligor has an ability to comply with the support order. To view the Court's opinion, click here.

06/16/11   U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Age Is a Factor for Miranda in Juvenile Interrogations
 

On June 16, 2011, the U. S. Supreme Court held that a juvenile's age properly informs Miranda custody analysis. In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, the Court considered the interrogation of a 13-year-old in a room at his school by uniformed police officers. The juvenile was not read Miranda rights and gave a confession. The Court explained that a child's age affects his perception of whether he is free to leave, and ruled that the interrogators should have taken age into consideration in determining whether the child was "in custody" and, therefore, entitled to Miranda warnings. To view the Court's opinion, click here.

05/05/11   DFPS Is Seeking Comments by June 1 on Its Foster Care Redesign Draft RFP
 

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is requesting comments on a DRAFT version of a Request for Proposals (RFP) that it plans to publish in August 2011 as a final RFP. The DRAFT RFP is for DFPS' planned solicitation of proposals for the provision of a full continuum of residential child-care services for children in DFPS' legal conservatorship and for services to the families of those children. Comments to this DRAFT RFP are requested by no later than 4:00 p.m. Central Time on June 1, 2011. Comments received will be reviewed and will help inform any appropriate revisions to a final RFP. To view the Draft RFP and instructions for providing comments, click here.

05/05/11   Children's Commission Is Providing Attorney Registration Scholarships for Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop at Advanced Family Law Conference - Deadline May 20
 

The Texas Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families is providing a limited number of scholarships for Texas attorneys to attend the one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop at the State Bar's Advanced Family Law Conference on Aug. 3, 2011, in San Antonio, or for the video replays in S. Padre Island on Oct. 14 and in Dallas on Oct. 21. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is Friday, May 20. The scholarship covers registration only and does not include expenses for travel or lodging. To access the application form, click here. If you have not yet registered to use this site, please click on "Register" on the blue menu bar at the top of the page, and follow the instructions. Access is free to all active Texas judges and attorneys.

04/11/11   See Updated Summary of Pending Legislation Affecting Child Protection
 

Sandra Hachem, Senior Assistant County Attorney for Harris County, who prepares summaries of pending legislation relating to child protection for the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect (the "Committee"), has updated her prior summaries to include bills filed as of April 11, 2011, and to note the status of many bills. This summary also includes Ms. Hachem's comments where there are items of possible concern or other issues of note. TLC thanks Ms. Hachem for allowing us to share these summaries with the judges and attorneys who use TLC's Online Center. Please note that the comments do not reflect the official position of the Committee or of TLC. To view the updated summary, click here.

03/31/11   Children's Commission Is Providing Scholarships for Attorneys to Attend ABA Training — Deadline April 8
 

The Texas Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families is providing scholarships for approximately 80 Texas attorneys to attend either of the following two highly acclaimed national training conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association and relating to representation of children and parents in child protection cases: the Second Annual National Parent's Attorney Conference on July 13 & 14 in Washington, DC, and the 2011 National Conference on Children and the Law on July 15 & 16, also in DC. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is April 8. To view information about the application process and to access the application form, click here. If you have not yet registered to use this site, please click on "Register" on the blue menu bar at the top of the page, and follow the instructions. Access is free to all active Texas judges and attorneys.

03/29/11   Class Action Suit on Behalf of Texas Foster Children Is Filed in Federal Court
 

A class action suit on behalf of the approximately 12,000 children in the permanent managing conservatorship of the State of Texas has been filed in federal court in Corpus Christi. The suit names Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Thomas Suehs, and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein as defendants. The suit alleges that the defendants have mismanaged the Texas foster care system by failing to maintain a caseworker staff of sufficient size and capacity, by failing to focus adequate resources on permanency planning for the children, by failing to create an adequate number and array of placements and services, and by failing to adequately oversee substitute care, including, among other things, failing to ensure that caseworkers conduct frequent and quality visits with the children. The suit states that it "is the collective cry of Texas' forgotten children, now demanding to be remembered." To view the lawsuit, click here. To view an article about the suit published in the The Dallas Morning News, click here.

03/15/11   The State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Seeks Nominations for Its Annual Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families
 

The State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect is seeking nominations for its annual Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families. The award is named after Ms. Rutland in recognition of her exceptional leadership as a founding member and chair of the Committee for over 20 years and her continuing dedication and many ongoing contributions to the field of child welfare. The award honors an attorney who has made a substantial contribution to the field of advocacy for abused and neglected children. The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2011. Click here to view the nomination form.

02/25/11   See Summary of Pending Legislation Affecting Child Protection
 

Sandra Hachem, Senior Assistant County Attorney for Harris County, prepares summaries of pending legislation relating to child protection for the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect (the "Committee"). These summaries include comments where there are items of possible concern or other issues of note. TLC thanks Ms. Hachem for allowing us to share these summaries with the judges and attorneys who use TLC's Online Center. Please note that the comments do not reflect the official position of the Committee or of TLC. To view the summaries of key bills filed through February 15, 2011, click here.

12/14/10   National Coalition Calls Attention to Strategies to End Child Abuse Deaths
 

On December 14, 2010, the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths held a news conference to bring attention to the lack of national media coverage of child abuse deaths. Deaths of children from abuse and neglect outnumber deaths that receive much more national coverage, such as deaths from the H1N1 virus, Toyota automobile malfunctions, food-borne illnesses, military incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan, and coal mining. The coalition outlined seven initiatives to end child abuse deaths, including: developing a governmental strategy aimed at strengthening families and preventing maltreatment, additional spending to lower caseloads and increase training of caseworkers, requiring states to adopt national standards for protecting children, revising confidentiality laws, starting a public education campaign on reporting abuse, and creating a protocol for coordinating legal proceedings between child protection and law enforcement agencies. The coalition consists of the National Association of Social Workers, National Center for Child Death Review, National Children's Alliance, Every Child Matters Education Fund, and National District Attorneys Association. To view the Coalition's recommendations, click here.

12/09/10   ABA Offers Free Web-Based Training for Parents' Attorneys Handling CPS Appeals
 

On December 15, 2010, at 11 a.m. Central Time, the American Bar Association will host a free web-based training for attorneys who represent parents appealing child welfare cases. The training will provide tips for appellate attorneys and will cover how to file an appeal and discuss common occurrences that may arise during an appeal, including constitutional issues and incorrect rulings on pre-trial motions. Click here to view the announcement of the training, which includes information on how to register.

12/08/10   ABA Center on Children and the Law's Bar-Youth Empowerment Project Is Seeking Input on Attendance of Children and Youth at Court Hearings
 

The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law's Bar-Youth Empowerment Project, directed by Andrea Khoury, would like to evaluate the frequency with which children and youth attend court hearings across the country and is asking that judges and attorneys answer questions about the practice in their jurisdictions. To participate in the survey, click here. The Center on Children and the Law started the Bar-Youth Empowerment Project to improve outcomes for youth currently in foster care, as well as young people who have aged out of care, by promoting youth participation in court cases that affect them and offering access to legal counseling and representation to youth in need of specialized legal assistance. For more information about the project, click here.

11/19/10   TLC's Online Center Is Honored with the "Award for Excellence in Social Innovation"
 

Texas Loves Children, Inc., the nonprofit organization that created and operates the Texas Lawyers for Children Online Legal Resource and Communication Center, was honored with the "Award for Excellence in Social Innovation" for TLC's Online Center by the Dallas Center for Nonprofit Management, after selection by an independent panel of community leaders. This prestigious award is given to the organization that best provides "a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient and sustainable... and demonstrates significant positive change around a specific social issue." The award ceremony was held during the "Night of Light" gala on November 19, 2010, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, with 700 people in attendance. To see a photo of TLC's Director, Barbara Elias-Perciful accepting the award from Ms. Gillian Breidenbach, click here.

10/11/10   TLC Has Been Selected as One of Three Finalists for the Award for Excellence in Social Innovation
 

We are excited to let you know that TLC has been selected as one of three finalists for the Award for Excellence in Social Innovation to be given by the Dallas Center for Nonprofit Management. The nomination process is extremely competitive, so we are thrilled to be recognized as one of the top three Dallas nonprofits in the award category for organizations that provide "a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient and sustainable... and demonstrates significant positive change around a specific social issue." The nomination is for TLC's Online Legal Resource and Communication Center. The award ceremony will be held on November 19 at the Hilton Anatole with Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow as the Master of Ceremonies.

09/29/10   Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Ph.D., Summarizes APSAC's Concerns about Possible Inclusion of Parental Alienation in Upcoming DSM-V
 

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), a leading national organization supporting professionals who serve children and families affected by child maltreatment and violence, has concerns about a proposal to include parental alienation syndrome or disorder in the Amercian Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V), to be published in 2013. Nineteen leading researchers, teachers, and clinicians with extensive experience in the area of family dissolution and child response to family break-up have signed a letter expressing concern as well. Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Ph.D., summarizes APSAC's concerns in a paper outlining weaknesses of the proposed diagnostic criteria. Click here to view Dr. Faller's summary.

09/21/10   The Center for Public Policy Priorities Notes that Texas Ranks Last in Child Abuse Prevention Coverage and Issues a Policy Paper on How to Improve Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
 

In a recent policy paper, the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) calls for prevention of child abuse and neglect to be a greater priority in Texas. CPPP notes that, compared to other states, Texas ranks 50th in the rate of child abuse and neglect prevention coverage. In Texas, about 5 of every 1,000 children receive prevention services, while the national average is almost nine times higher, at about 44 of every 1,000 children. The prevention services which are provided by Child Protective Services are administered by the Prevention and Intervention (PEI) division. PEI's budget is only about 3 percent of the overall budget of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). In response to the legislature's request for a 10 percent budget reduction, DFPS has proposed an 84 percent reduction in the current PEI budget. CPPP urges that PEI's already small budget not be cut in the upcoming legislative session and makes specific recommendations on how PEI can prioritize where its services are provided to have maximum impact. Click here to view the paper.

09/20/10   Every Child Matters Education Fund Releases We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America
 

On September 20, 2010, Every Child Matters Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the adoption of legislation that makes children, youth, and families a national priority, released a report on deaths from child abuse and neglect. This report, We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America, provides statistics on deaths from child abuse and neglect and suggests legislation to prevent abuse and lower the number of children killed. Every Child Matters is a member of the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths, which includes the National Center for Child Death Review, National Children's Alliance, the National District Attorneys Association, and the National Association of Social Workers. The coalition is bringing national attention to this issue and advocating a national strategy to end these preventable deaths. The first edition of the report was followed by a national summit, which generated recommendations and formation of the coalition. The coalition briefed Congressional staffers on the issue, and the General Accounting Office began a study of deaths in the child welfare system. The coalition also generated a petition requesting that Congress conduct hearings on child abuse deaths. Click here to view the report.

09/14/10   The Center for Public Policy Priorities Has Issued a New Report on Undocumented, Abused and Neglected Children
 

On September 14, 2010, the Center for Public Policy Priorities issued a report that examines the problem of undocumented children who suffer abuse and neglect in this country. Who are these children, and why is it unworkable to send them back to their country of origin? The paper offers suggestions for system improvements to allow these children to obtain legal residency and for aligning immigration and child welfare laws to protect this population. Click here to view the report.


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