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MOST RECENT NEWS ITEM


04/24/20   NACC free webinar covers stress management for attorneys and clients
 

On May 13, 2020, National Association of Counsel for Children will host "Trauma-Responsive Skills for Lawyers During COVID-19," a free webinar open to members and non-members. Presenters Rebecca M. Stahl, J.D., LLM, SEP and Cynthia Bowkley, J.D., CPPM, SE Advanced Student will address the ways COVID-19 is affecting legal practice, attorneys, and clients. They will suggest simple tools to manage stress and maximize performance in response to the physical, mental and emotional impacts on attorneys. How to assist clients in regulating trauma reactions in high stress situations, including the courtroom, will be addressed also. The webinar is 1:00-2:30 p.m. Central. Click here to register.

 

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04/24/20 Free Stress Management Webinar Offered
04/08/20 Coronavirus Legal Resources
04/07/20 Carrington Coleman Breaks Down Fed. Loans
03/31/20 Webinar on Child Welfare in Pandemic - 4/2
02/21/20 Call for Nominations - Deadline Mar. 4
02/12/20 Scholarships to Adv. Child Protection Law
01/30/20 Adv. Child Protection Law Course - 3/26-27
01/10/20 Free Webinar on Family First Act - 1/14/20
12/15/19 Newspaper Finds Disturbing Outcomes
12/13/19 Journalists Investigate CAPTA Compliance
08/28/19 Education Ideas for Foster Children
05/15/19 Atty Training Scholarship Deadline-5/17
05/13/19 15 hours of FREE Trauma CLE & CJE
03/13/19 Early Bird Deadline for Adv. Course - 3/14
02/07/19 Adv. Child Protection Law Course- 3/28-29
01/07/19 Federal Funding for Attorneys in CPS Cases
10/18/18 5th Circuit Rules in M.D. v. Abbott
09/27/18 Paper - Constitutional Rights of Children
08/06/18 Key Hearing-Children's Mental Health
06/20/18 Child Protection Law CLE Video Replays
05/29/18 Children's Rights Summit - Houston
05/16/18 Key Hearing-Children's Mental Health- 5/17
05/04/18 Judicial Conference Scholarships- Due 6/6
05/04/18 Attorney Conference Scholarships- Due 6/6
04/27/18 Child Welfare Law Specialization - May 7
04/09/18 Update on Federal Class Action Appeal
03/22/18 Free Trial Skills Training - Deadline 4/11
03/20/18 Legal Representation Survey - Judges
03/13/18 Legal Representation Survey - Attorneys
02/15/18 Oral Argument in Federal Class Action Suit
02/01/18 Justice Lehrmann's Statement—New Section
01/31/18 Judge Orders Hank Whitman to Appear
01/31/18 Child Protection Law Section CLE 4/19-20
01/19/18 Final Order Entered in Class Action
12/15/17 TLC Files Amicus Brief in Class Action
12/04/17 Special Masters File Implementation Plan
09/21/17 MCLE Webcasts on Trial Skills Rescheduled
09/20/17 Important Trauma Training - Deadline 9/25
09/05/17 Resources to Help Displaced Children
09/01/17 Receive or Provide Hurricane Help
08/28/17 Supreme Ct. Emergency Order re CPS Cases
08/24/17 MCLE Webcasts on Trial Skills - Postponed
08/01/17 Petition for Child Protection Law Section
07/21/17 Legislative Update & Webcast on July 24
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
02/14/17 Board Certification on Child Welfare Law
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.)
10/04/13   TLC Has Expanded Its Materials on Education Advocacy for Foster Children
 

To assist judges and attorneys with addressing the educational needs of children in foster care, and in keeping with the new legislation and the recommendations of the Education Committee of the Texas Supreme Court Commission for Children, Youth and Families, TLC has expanded its topics concerning the education of foster children. All resources can be found by clicking on "Resources" on the red menu bar of TLC's Online Center, then by clicking on either "Browse by Topic" or "Browse by Resource Type".

10/03/13   Paper Analyzing "Emergency Child Safety and Tex. Fam. Code 161.001(1)(O) After In re E.C.R." Is Now Available Here
 

TLC thanks Sandra Hachem (Sr. Asst. County Attorney, Harris County and former Chair, State Bar Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect) for graciously providing TLC with her paper on "Emergency Child Safety and Tex. Fam. Code 161.001(1)(O) After In re E.C.R.". Ms. Hachem's paper analyzes the Texas Supreme Court's decision in the case of In re E.C.R., No. 12-0744, 2013 Tex. LEXIS 473 (Tex. June 14, 2013), and discusses implications of the case regarding emergency removal of children due to risk of abuse. To view Ms. Hachem's paper, click here.

09/06/13   TLC Has Expanded Its Materials on Trauma-Informed Judicial Practice and Trauma-Informed Advocacy
 

In keeping with the national attention on the need for judges and attorneys to address the trauma to children from abuse and neglect, TLC has significantly expanded its materials on child trauma to include Trauma-Informed Judicial Practice and Trauma-Informed Advocacy with materials from the ABA Center on Children and the Law, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and other well-respected groups. All resources can be found by clicking on "Resources" on the red menu bar above, then by clicking on either "Browse by Topic" or "Browse by Resource Type".

09/05/13   A Video on the History and Implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act Is Now Available Here
 

This compelling video is the result of the collaborative efforts of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues, the National Resource Center for Tribes and Tribal STAR, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The video was produced for the Mississippi Administrative Office of the Courts. The video includes comments from judges across the country, including Hon. Len Edwards and Texas' own Hon. Darlene Byrne. To view the video, please click here.

08/23/13   ICE Has Published a Directive Focusing on Facilitating Parental Interests During Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities
 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently published a Directive to establish policies and procedures to address the placement, monitoring, accommodation, and removal of alien parents or legal guardians who 1) are primary caretakers of minor children; 2) have a direct interest in family court proceedings; or 3) have minor children who are U.S. Citizens. The goal is to ensure that immigration enforcement activities do not unnecessarily disrupt the parental rights of alien parents and legal guardians of minor children. The Directive also establishes a "Parental Rights Coordinator" who will oversee training, collaboration, and information-sharing among all federal, state, and local personnel, offices, and agencies involved in enforcing the nation's immigration laws or ensuring child welfare. Click here to view the Directive.

08/23/13   Update on New Legislation Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect Is Now Available Here
 

TLC thanks R.J. Hazeltine-Shedd (Asst. County Attorney, Harris County) for providing TLC with his 2013 Statutory Update of Child Abuse and Neglect Legislation. This update discusses new laws passed in the 2013 Legislative Session which impact child abuse and neglect issues and would be of particular interest to judges and attorneys handling cases filed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. To view the update, click here.

08/22/13   ABA Center on Children and the Law Is Seeking Input on Parents' Attorney Representation, Particularly Attorney Compensation Rates
 

In connection with its National Project to Improve Representation for Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System, the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law is seeking input regarding parent representation, particularly parents' attorney compensation. The project desires to gather as much data and information about the various compensation rates parents' attorneys earn in each state, with the intent of sharing this information with other groups that are interested in improving how and how much parents' attorneys are paid. To complete the survey click here. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Jill Reyes, J.D., at 202-654-3501, or email her at jill.reyes@americanbar.org.

07/30/13   105 Juveniles Rescued in Nationwide Operation Targeting Underage Prostitution
 

The FBI recently reported recovering 105 juveniles and arresting 159 pimps in their nationwide operation targeting underage prostitution. Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to address the growing problem of child prostitution. To date, the FBI and its task force partners have rescued more than 2,700 children from the streets. The investigations and subsequent 1,350 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 10 life terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets. Click here to view the FBI's press release about the operation.

06/26/13   U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Denial of Adoption by Non-Indian Couple in Indian Child Welfare Act Case
 

On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first major ruling on the Indian Child Welfare Act since 1989 in the case of Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl, No. 12-399, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 4916. The Court reversed the South Carolina Supreme Court and remanded for further proceedings. A birth mother placed a newborn (3/256 Cherokee) with an adoptive couple, who initiated adoption proceedings. The birth father, classified as a Cherokee, attempted to relinquish his parental rights but then changed his mind. The state trial court and supreme court denied the adoption, holding that the adoptive couple had not met their burden under ICWA. The U.S. Supreme Court held that ICWA did not apply. First, the Court reasoned that ICWA refers to the burden to show that serious harm to the child is likely to result from the parent's continued custody, but the birth father never had custody prior to the adoption hearing; therefore, he could not have had "continued custody." Second, the Court noted that ICWA requires a showing that remedial efforts were made to prevent the break-up of the Indian family, but here there was no Indian family because the father abandoned the child before birth and never had custody. The Court also pointed out that ICWA gives placement preferences to other Indian families or the tribe but concluded that that provision does not apply when no such eligible candidates have sought to adopt the child. Click here to read the opinion.

06/17/13   Texas Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Termination of a Parent's Rights for Failure to Comply with a Court Order and on Removal for "Risk"
 

On June, 14, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court provided guidance on the standards for removal and on what is required for termination of a parent's rights for failure to comply with a court order in the case of In re E.C.R., No. 12-0744, 2013 Tex. LEXIS 473 (Tex. June 14, 2013). The Court ruled that the provision of Tex. Fam. Code 161.001(1)(O) requiring proof that the child was removed "for abuse or neglect of the child," in order to terminate parental rights for failure to comply with a court order, does not require actual harm to or neglect of the removed child. Risk of abuse, as shown by previous physical abuse of a sibling, is sufficient. The Court further concluded that in this particular case, the finding necessary to terminate under subsection O was conclusively established as a matter of law. Consequently, in the future, it will be error for a court not to grant an O finding when presented with similar evidence. Click here to read the opinion.

06/17/13   Children's Commission Is Providing Attorney Registration Scholarships for NACC Conference - Deadline July 5
 

The Texas Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families is generously providing scholarships to a limited number of Texas attorneys to pay the registration fee for the 36th National Child Welfare, Juvenile, and Family Law Conference, sponsored by the National Association of Counsel for Children, which will be held from Aug. 26 - 28, 2013, in Atlanta, GA. This application requires a letter from a judge recommending the applicant and verifying that the applicant is currently providing legal representation on the child protection docket. An application will not be considered complete until this letter is received. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is Friday, July 5. To access the online application form, click here.

05/28/13   Children's Commission Is Providing Attorney Registration Scholarships for Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop at Advanced Family Law Conference - Deadline June 14
 

The Texas Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families is providing 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. 7, 2013, in San Antonio. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is 5:00 pm on Friday, June 14. The scholarship covers registration for the one-day workshop only and does not include expenses for travel or lodging. To access the application form, click here. To view the conference brochure, click here.

05/20/13   Texas State Bar Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Is Sponsoring a Statewide Child Welfare Law Conference in Houston on June 19
 

The Texas State Bar Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect is sponsoring a statewide child welfare law conference in Houston on June 19 and offering 6 hours of CLE for just $10!! Funding was provided by the Texas Supreme Court's Commission for Children, Youth and Families, among others. This conference, "Changing Lives -- Breaking the Cycle," is in collaboration with the Infant and Toddler Court Initiative of Fort Bend and Harris County, which is sponsoring the Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe (KITS) Annual Training as part of this conference on June 20-21. Topics on June 19 include: keynote address by TDFPS Commissioner John Specia, panel including Hon. Len Edwards, past president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and break-out sessions for parents' attorneys, children's attorneys, and TDFPS attorneys. The conference will also provide a great opportunity to network with colleagues from across the state. Participants can register for one, two, or three days of the conference. To see the full agenda, click here. To register for the conference, click here.

04/22/13   Key Hearings on Several Child Protection Bills Were Scheduled for April 22 & 23
 

Several key child protection bills were scheduled for hearing on April 22 and 23. Bills set for hearing include the following: SB 130 (relating to representation by prosecuting attorneys in proceedings for protective orders against family violence) was scheduled for hearing in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee on Mon., April 22, at 2:00 pm or upon adjournment. SB 1836 (regarding use of a Vital Statistics Fee to fund home visiting programs) is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on Tues, April 23, at 9:00 am. HB 3399 (relating to the stability of placements for children in the conservatorship of the Department) is scheduled for hearing in the House Human Services Committee on Tues., April 23, at 10:30 am or upon adjournment. To watch the past or live House Committee hearings click here. To watch the Senate Committee hearing live, click here.

04/16/13   Key Hearings on Several Child Protection Bills Scheduled for Tues., April 16, and Wed., April 17, and TexProtects Has Provided a New Legislative Update
 

Several key child protection bills were scheduled for hearing on April 16 and 17. Also, Madeline McClure, Executive Director of TexProtects (the Texas Association for the Protection of Children), has provided TLC with a new legislative update on various bills related to child protection that have had recent activity. TLC thanks Ms. McClure and TexProtects for allowing TLC to share this information with the judges and attorneys who use TLC's Online Center. Bills set for hearing include the following: SB 1758 would establish a task force of CPS program staff, outside business CEO's, labor consultants, human resource leaders, and others to design a performance-based system to improve the hiring and retention of CPS caseworkers. SB 1758 was scheduled for hearing in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on Tues. April 16, at 9:00 am. SB 384 would increase the range of penalties from Class A misdemeanor to state jail felony for failing to report child abuse with the intent to deceive or conceal abuse. SB 384 is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Wed., April 17 at 1:30 pm or upon adjournment. HB 1205 is the companion bill to SB 384. HB 1205 is scheduled for hearing in the House on Wed., April 17. To watch the House hearing live, click here. To watch the Senate Committee hearings live, click here. To view past Senate Committee hearings, click here. To view the legislative update click here.

04/03/13   TexProtects Has Provided a Legislative Update on Various Child Protection Bills with Recent Activity
 

Madeline McClure, Executive Director of TexProtects (the Texas Association for the Protection of Children), has provided TLC with a legislative update on various bills related to child protection that have had recent activity. TLC thanks Ms. McClure and TexProtects for allowing TLC to share this information with the judges and attorneys who use TLC's Online Center. To view the update, click here.

03/29/13   Child Protection Day Rally Is at Noon, Friday, April 5 on South Steps of Capitol
 

Over 20 child protection organizations are working together to organize a Rally for "Child Protection Day" at noon on Friday, April 5, on the South Steps of the Capitol to ask the public and legislators to keep child protection a top priority. In order to have a strong showing of support for child protection, the organizers are hoping to have 1,000 people on the South Steps. They are asking participants to wear royal blue, the child abuse prevention color, to the Rally. For further details about the Rally, click here.

03/29/13   Texas CASA Has Updated Its Chart of Bills to Show Recent Legislative Activity
 

Texas CASA, through the efforts of intern Lara Bubalo, has updated its chart of bills affecting children and families in CPS cases to show recent legislative activity regarding the bills included. Andrea Sparks, Director of Public Affairs for Texas CASA, has provided this update to TLC to be shared with the judges and attorneys who use TLC's Online Center. TLC thanks Ms. Sparks, Ms. Bubalo, and Texas CASA for providing this information. Please note that comments included in the chart regarding priority issues for various organizations do not reflect the position of TLC. To view the update, click here.

03/20/13   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 8, 2013. Click here to view the nomination form.

03/12/13   Children's Commission Is Providing Scholarships for Attorneys to Attend ABA Training — Deadline 5:00 pm on April 12
 

The Texas Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families is providing scholarships of the registration fee and 3 nights' hotel expenses for 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 Third National Parent's Attorney Conference on July 10 & 11 in Washington, DC, and the Fifteenth National Conference on Children and the Law on July 12 & 13, also in DC. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is 5:00 pm on Friday, April 12. To be complete, an application must include a letter of recommendation from the attorney's presiding judge. To view information about the application process and to access the application form, click here.

03/11/13   Key Senate Hearing Regarding Protective Orders Will Be Conducted on Tuesday, March 12
 

SB130 has been scheduled to be heard in the Senate Jurisprudence Committee on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 1:30 pm or upon adjournment, in Room 2E.20 (Betty King Cmte. Rm.). This bill clarifies that a prosecuting attorney who represents a party in obtaining a protective order is not precluded from representing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. To see the hearing notice, click here. To watch the hearing live, click here.

02/28/13   OJJDP Publishes the Results of a Study on the Mental Health Needs of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
 

The Northwestern Juvenile Project (NJP) is a longitudinal study that investigated the mental health needs and long-term outcomes of youth detained in the juvenile justice system. NJP studied a randomly selected sample of 1,829 youth who were arrested and detained between 1995 and 1998. While many studies examine the connection between risk factors and the onset of delinquency, far fewer studies follow youth after they are arrested and detained. The NJP study found that the mental health needs of youth detained in the juvenile justice system are far greater than those in the general population and that the mental health needs of these youth are largely untreated. The study found that among detainees with major psychiatric disorders and functional impairment, only 5% had been treated in the detention center before release. To view the bulletin, click here.

02/18/13   See Chart of Bills Affecting Children and Families in CPS Cases
 

Texas CASA, through the efforts of intern Lara Bubalo, has created a chart of bills affecting children and families in CPS cases. Andrea Sparks, Director of Public Affairs for Texas CASA, has provided this chart to TLC to be shared with the judges and attorneys who use TLC's Online Center. TLC thanks Ms. Sparks, Ms. Bubalo, and Texas CASA for providing this information. Please note that comments included in the chart regarding priority issues for various organizations do not reflect the position of TLC. To view the chart, click here.

02/14/13   Key Senate Hearing on Child Protection Issues Will Be Conducted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
 

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hear several bills involving important child protection issues. Some of the bills and brief summaries are listed below. SB 425 - strengthens the Family Code's requirements that CPS consult with attorneys ad litem, guardians ad litem, and CASA's in making placement decisions. A committee substitute to SB 425 may be filed adding the provision of HB 1185, which eliminates the requirement that attorneys ad litem and guardians ad litem destroy records relating to children upon termination of the appointment. This would allow attorneys and CASA's to retain files for use in the event a child comes back into care. SB 426 - expands Home Visiting programs across the State so that more families can access such services. (Home visiting has been shown to reduce the rate of child abuse and neglect and to improve the health, educational, social-emotional, cognitive, and other outcomes for children.) SB 429 - says that prior to CPS case dismissal, judges must consider what other orders are needed to best protect the child. Such orders could include child support and visitation, among others. To see the hearing notice, click here. To watch the hearing live, click here.

02/11/13   Key Legislative Hearing on DFPS Budget Will Be Conducted on Thursday, February 14, 2013
 

On Thursday, February 14, 2013, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II (Health and Human Services) will hear budget recommendations regarding the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. To see the hearing notice, click here. To watch the hearing live, click here.

02/01/13   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 affecting child protection, click here.

01/30/13   GAO Finds That States Still Struggle to Meet Child Welfare Service Needs Despite Use of Flexible Federal Funds
 

The Government Accounting Office has issued a report on its study of how selected states use the flexible funding offered under Title IV-B of the Social Security Act. The GAO looked at specific uses of the funds, what alternative federal funds states use, and what services child welfare agencies have difficulty securing for children. The report notes that child welfare agencies face a variety of challenges that make it difficult for them to secure services such as parenting classes and substance abuse treatment. To read the report, click here.

01/09/13   New Federal Law Creates National Commission to Study and Develop Strategies to End Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths
 

On January 9, 2013, President Obama signed H.R. 6655, "An Act to Protect our Kids," into law. The Act creates a new national commission to develop a comprehensive strategy for reducing child deaths due to abuse and neglect. The 12-person multidisciplinary commission will be appointed by the President and Congress.

01/02/13   Adoptive Parents with Tax Liability Will Be Eligible for Tax Credits
 

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 made the adoption tax credit permanent. It, however, did not make the adoption credit refundable, so it will only benefit those adoptive families who have a federal income tax liability. The North American Council on Adoptable Children recommends that those who adopted a child in 2012 submit a Form 8839 with their 2012 taxes even if they do not have a tax liability. Although they will not receive an adoption credit refund with their 2012 taxes, the credit can be carried forward up to five additional years. Families might benefit later if either their tax situation changes or the credit is made refundable in the future, and then they won't have to amend their 2012 taxes. For more information, click here.

01/01/13   Congress Passes Bill to Amend FERPA in Order to Improve Educational Outcomes of Youth in Foster Care
 

The Uninterrupted Scholars Act (S. 3472), awaiting the President's signature, amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, P.L. 93-380) to ensure child welfare agencies can access school records of students in foster care. Access to educational records will help students recoup lost credits, speed their timely transfer to new schools, and will give social workers and administrators a more complete picture of academic success to guide decisions about the child's well-being. At the same time, the bill preserves educational privacy rights of students and parents as FERPA intends.


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