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SELECTED NEWS ITEM


01/07/19   Title IV-E Funds May Now Be Used to Cover Costs of Attorneys for Children and Parents in CPS Cases
 

On January 7, 2019, the Children's Bureau (which is the federal agency that provides funding for and monitors child welfare agencies across the country) changed its policy regarding use of Title IV-E funds for the costs of foster care. The Bureau is now allowing IV-E agencies to claim as an administrative cost (to be paid at the rate of 50%) the cost of legal services for attorneys for children who are candidates for foster care or who are in foster care and for the children's parents. Previously, these funds could only be used for attorneys representing the Title IV-E agencies. The Bureau made this change in its Child Welfare Policy Manual, which contains questions and answers that apply to the child welfare programs, by deleting Question & Answer 8.1B#18 and replacing it with Question & Answer 8.1B#30. This means that federal funding is now available for legal services not only in the TMC phase of the case but also for children in the permanent managing conservatorship of the State. To view the new policy, click here.

 

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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.)
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.

04/08/20   Texas Lawyers for Children's Online Resource Center has tips, information, and resources on practicing child protection law during the coronavirus crisis
 

Texas Lawyers for Children continues to post resources in the online resource center to assist attorneys and judges in managing child protection dockets during the coronavirus crisis. All resources are free to registered users and can be located by going to the menu bar and clicking Resources, Browse by Topic, Coronavirus. Click on a resource type, such as Forms, Links, or Articles and Papers. Below are recently-added resources:

FORM:

Motion to Resume Visitation by Colorado Office of Child's Representative.

ARTICLES AND PAPERS:

The Federal Government Rushes Through Legislation Designed to Help an Expanded Universe of Small Businesses by Carrington Coleman law firm - explains federal loan programs for small businesses.

A Joint Statement on Child Welfare Courts During a Public Health Crisis: Access to Justice and Advocacy are Critical Anchors During Uncertain Times by Children's Advocacy Institute, Children's Rights, Juvenile Law Center, National Association of Counsel for Children, National Center for Youth Law, & Youth Law Center - specific tips for child protection professionals.

Advocacy and Child's Attorney-Client Relationships During COVID-19: A Tip Sheet by National Association of Counsel for Children - specific tips for children's attorneys.

Letter From (Children's Bureau) Associate Commissioner Milner re: Child Welfare Court Deadlines, Safety, and Due Process by Jerry Milner, Assoc. Comm'r Children's Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families - guidance on complying with federal law and regulations.

Making an Emergency Plan with Transition Age Youth in Foster Care: A Checklist for Dependency Attorneys, Youth Providers, and Advocates by Youth Law Center - checklist for representing foster youth who are close to aging out.

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource by National Association of School Psychologists & National Association of School Nurses -guidelines for talking to children about coronavirus.

Advocating for Kids in Detention and Congregate Care Amidst COVID-19 Concerns by Cathy Krebs, J.D., American Bar Association Children's Rights Litigation Committee - resources for children in detention and congregate care.

At-Home Education and Learning Resources for Foster Youth During COVID-19 by Schwartz, Angie - resources for continued access to education.

Successful Video Visits With Young Children - National Council on Crime and Delinquency - tips for visiting with child clients by video conferencing.

LINKS
Clicking on Links will bring up a list of links to current Texas court closures and coronavirus web pages for state and national legal organizations.

04/07/20   Carrington Coleman alerts help small and solo firms navigate federal coronavirus loan programs
 

Carrington Coleman law firm has issued "COVID-19 Client Alerts" that explain federal loan programs available to small businesses during the coronavirus crisis. Texas Lawyers for Children is making the alerts available to its users, many of whom are small and solo firms in need of economic relief. The alerts may be found as one document in the Texas Lawyers for Children Online Resource Center. Go to the home page, Browse by Topic, Coronavirus, Articles and Papers. Other resources to assist in your practice are there also.

03/31/20   April 2- NACC & ABA Children's Rights Litigation Committee Co-Sponsor Webinar on Zealous Advocacy During Pandemic
 

On April 2, from 3-4:30 p.m. Central time, the National Association of Counsel for Children ("NACC") and the ABA Children's Rights Litigation Committee will present a webinar entitled "Zealous Advocacy During COVID-19: Practical Tips and Best Practices." This free presentation is open to all who register. In the words of the NACC -- "In the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of life have dramatically changed -- schools, court hearings, social events. What has not changed, however, are the critical and urgent needs of youth involved in the child welfare system. Join advocates from around the country who will share guidance and practical tips to safeguard and advance the rights of youth in the child welfare system during COVID-19 and beyond. Practitioners will walk away with concrete tools to determine what ongoing and unique client needs present themselves during these times and how to maintain, modify, and increase zealous advocacy amid the pandemic." To register, click here.

02/21/20   The Child Protection Law Section Is Seeking Nominations for Its First Annual Rutland Excellence in Advocacy Award - Deadline March 4
 

The State Bar's Child Protection Law Section is seeking nominations for its first annual Rutland Excellence in Advocacy Award. The award is named after Fairy Davenport Rutland in recognition of her exceptional leadership as a founding member and Chair of the State Bar's Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect for over 20 years and her continuing dedication and many ongoing contributions to the field of child welfare. The award recognizes an attorney who has provided distinguished services within the child protection field. The deadline for nominations is March 4, 2020. The award recipient will be announced at the Advanced Child Protection Law Course, which is being conducted in Houston on March 26 & 27. To view the requirements for nominations, click here.

02/12/20   Scholarships Are Available for the Advanced Child Protection Law Course
 

The Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar is offering scholarships for its Third Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course, which is being conducted on March 26 & 27 in Houston, with Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., as the keynote speaker. You must be a section member to apply. Scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. For details about the conference and how to apply for a scholarship, click here.

01/30/20   Child Protection Law Section Will Conduct Third Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course
 

The Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, chaired by Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann, will be hosting its Third Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course on March 26-27 in Houston. This advanced course features a keynote address by Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., on the misdiagnosis of mental disorders in foster children and the inappropriate use of psychotropic medication, as well as presentations involving 2 Texas Supreme Court Justices, multi-ethnic issues, a technology workshop, a prep session for the Child Welfare Law Specialization Exam, and many other timely topics. To view the conference brochure, click here. To register online, click here.

01/10/20   NACC Free Webinar Highlights Two Resources on Family First Prevention Services Act
 

On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the National Association of Counsel for Children will offer a free webinar on its two new resources, the Family First Legal Guide and the Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Family First Implementation. These resources will assist the legal community and child welfare agencies with implementing provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act, federal legislation passed in 2018 with the goal of keeping children safely with their families and avoiding the trauma of entering foster care. The Legal Guide is written for attorneys, judges, magistrates, and court personnel, and provides an overview about how the Family First Act changes federal child welfare law, identifies opportunities to use the Act in legal advocacy and judicial decision-making, and offers guidance on supporting effective implementation in local communities. The Tool for Engaging the Legal Community can facilitate dialogue between child welfare agency implementation teams and the legal community to address potential unintended consequences and maximize positive impact for children and families. The webinar is titled New Legal Resources for Incorporating the Family First Act into Your Practice in 2020. It will take place from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. CST on January 14. To register, click here.

12/15/19   The Kansas City Star surveyed inmates in 12 states who were formerly in foster care and found long-term outcomes are disturbing
 

In December 2019, The Kansas City Star published the results of a survey of inmates in 12 states who were formerly in foster care. The investigation resulted in a series of six stories and nine videos describing the stark outcomes for children in foster care. The newspaper contacted every state asking for participation in the survey. Twelve states agreed and distributed the one-page questionnaires to inmates. The year-long investigation also took a comprehensive look at long-term outcomes for children who age out of the foster care system. It revealed the trauma that children suffer going into foster care and the need for trauma-informed services. Also interviewed were social workers, child welfare experts and advocates, law enforcement, judges, foster parents, doctors, scientists, and lawyers. The Star team also reviewed decades of class action suits against states and child welfare budget statistics. The stories are available here. The videos are available here.

12/13/19   Two news organizations took four years investigating how well states are complying with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
 

In December 2019 The Boston Globe and ProPublica published an investigation into states' compliance with the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. They found that no state fully complies with the act's requirements. A team of journalists spent four years collecting records and creating two national databases, one of which is a state-by-state compliance assessment. The news story contains a clickable map to see how each state measures up in protecting drug-affected infants, providing representation for abuse victims in court, and producing public reports about the children who die there. The story is available here.

08/28/19   Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Commission for Children, Youth and Families issues foster child education opportunities reminder
 

On August 28, 2019, the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Commission for Children, Youth and Families issued a Jurist in Residence letter reminding attorneys and judges of education opportunities for children in foster care. The letter includes pre-K eligibility, advocates available for primary and secondary students, and higher education opportunities. To read the letter, go here. Jurist in Residence letters are a program of the permanent commission. For a list of all JIRs, go here.

05/15/19   Deadline to Apply for an Attorney Training Scholarship from the Supreme Court Children's Commission for Summer Programs Is May 17
 

The Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission is currently offering scholarships for qualifying attorneys to attend the State Bar of Texas' 2019 one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop, as well as the 2019 National Association of Counsel for Children's 42nd Annual National Child Welfare, Juvenile & Family Law Conference and Red Book Training in Anaheim, California. The Commission is also offering scholarships for qualifying attorneys to attend another training from NACC, the third round of the NACC Red Book Online Training Course, which starts in September 2019. Please click here to see details about each of these scholarship opportunities. Please note: TLC is NOT the organization providing the scholarships, so if you have any questions, please contact the Children's Commission directly at children@txcourts.gov.

05/13/19   Texas Lawyers for Children Begins Its Legal Professional Trauma Training Program on June 6 & 7 in Dallas & Will Be Presenting It in Other Cities This Fall
 

Texas Lawyers for Children is excited to announce our new Legal Professional Trauma Training Program, a two-day live training event (with 15 hours of CLE and Family Violence CJE Credit) that will increase your understanding regarding children and families who have experienced trauma, how to advocate for their healing, and ways we can work together to promote systemic change. The grant from the Office of the Governor will allow us to offer the following training events for FREE: Dallas (June 6-7), Lorenzo Hotel--hotel discount ends May 23; Austin (mid-September); Houston (early October); Panhandle Area (late October). We have also sought an additional grant to provide this training in more cities throughout the state and will keep you posted about other opportunities. For more information about this exciting new program, please click here to see the brochure.

03/13/19   Early Bird Deadline for the 2nd Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course Is March 14, 2019
 

The new Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, chaired by Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann, will be hosting its Second Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course on March 28-29 in Dallas. This advanced course includes presentations involving 3 Texas Supreme Court Justices, a keynote address regarding the federal class action suit brought on behalf of Texas foster children, a prep session for the Child Welfare Law Specialization Exam, and many other timely topics. Early bird deadline for $25 off the registration fee is March 14, 2019. To view the conference brochure and access the link to register, click here.

02/07/19   New Child Protection Law Section Will Conduct Second Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course
 

The new Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, chaired by Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann, will be hosting its Second Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course on March 28-29 in Dallas. This advanced course includes presentations involving 3 Texas Supreme Court Justices, a keynote address regarding the federal class action suit brought on behalf of Texas foster children, a prep session for the Child Welfare Law Specialization Exam, and many other timely topics. Thanks to funding from the Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission, a limited number of scholarships will be provided on a first come, first served basis to qualifying applicants. Scholarship recipients will be notified by February 15, 2019. To view the conference brochure, which includes information regarding how to apply for a scholarship, click here.

10/18/18   Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Class Action Suit Brought on Behalf of Texas Foster Children
 

On October 18, 2018, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in M.D. v. Abbott, the class action suit brought on behalf of Texas foster children. While the appellate court affirmed the district court's ruling that the State caused constitutional harm and was deliberately indifferent to the class of foster children in regards to caseloads and management and oversight, the appellate court vacated parts of the district court's ruling that held that the State violated children's constitutional rights with regards to foster group homes, placement array, and other injunctive remedies. To review the Fifth Circuit's opinion, click here. For a complete understanding of the analysis and issues, be sure to also read Hon. Patrick Higginbotham's concurrence in part and dissent in part. To see a news article about the ruling from the Texas Tribune, click here.

09/27/18   Paper Discusses Asserting the Constitutional Rights of Children in Child Protection Cases
 

In a paper presented at the Advanced Family Law Course in August and at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Counsel for Children, TLC's Director, Barbara Elias-Perciful, examines various constitutional rights of children that can impact child protection cases. The rights discussed include the right to sibling access, the right to protection and proper care when in state custody (including the right to trauma-informed care and services), the right to maintain family relationships, the right to bodily integrity, and the right to be free from discrimination. To view the paper, click here.

08/06/18   House Human Services Committee and Public Health Committee Will Conduct a Joint Hearing on Thursday, August 9, on Children's Mental Health Issues
 

The Texas House Human Services Committee and the House Public Health Committee will conduct a joint hearing on Thursday, August 9, at 9:00 am, in Room E1.030 concerning mental health issues of children in the Department's care. The hearing will focus on the interim charge that includes anaylzing "the prevalence of children involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) who have a mental illness or substance use disorder," and "increasing the number of appropriate placements designed for children with high needs; and ensuring Texas Medicaid is providing access to appropriate and effective behavioral health services." The committees will also hear invited testimony about "residential child care facilities...[and] recent complaints received regarding treatment of children at these facilities...." To view the hearing notice, click here. To view the hearing live, click here. To view a video recording of the hearing after it has ended, click here.

06/20/18   The Advanced Child Protection Law Course Has Video Replays in Multiple Cities
 

The Advanced Child Protection Law Course sponsored by the new Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar is offering video replays in multiple cities across Texas,starting on July 13. To find out the locations and dates and to access the registration information, please click here.

05/29/18   Baker McKenzie Hosts Inaugural Children's Rights Summit in Houston on June 12
 

Baker McKenzie is hosting the Inaugural Texas Children's Rights Summit in Houston on June 12, 2018. The Summit is intended to discuss the legal needs of children and features numerous leaders in the field of children's rights. Topics include the impact of trauma, immigration issues, education issues, pro bono practice, and the ethics of child representation. Attorneys from in-house counsel's offices of major corporations will be attending as well, and child advocacy organizations will have the opportunity to ask for pro bono help for special child advocacy projects from these attorneys during an interactive session. Registration is FREE!! To view the agenda, click here. To register, click here.

05/16/18   House Public Health Committee Will Conduct Hearing on Children's Mental Health Issues on May 17
 

The House Public Health Committee will conduct a hearing on Thursday, May 17, at 10:00 am in Room E2.012, concerning children's mental health issues. The hearing will focus on the interim charge that includes "identifying and treating children with mental illness, including the application of trauma-[informed] and grief-informed practices" and identifying "strategies to assist in understanding the impact and recognizing the signs of trauma in children." To view the hearing notice with complete interim charge, click here. To view the hearing live, click here. To view a video recording of the hearing after it has ended, click here.

05/04/18   Supreme Court Children's Commission Is Providing Judicial Conference Scholarships - Deadlines 11:59 pm May 23 & June 6
 

Scholarships are available through the Supreme Court Children's Commission for judges to attend both the 81st Annual Conference of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and the National Association of Counsel for Children's (NACC) 41st National Child Welfare, Juvenile & Family Law Conference, including the Red Book Training (optional). The application deadline for the NCJFCJ scholarship is 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, and for the NACC conference, the deadline is 11:59 pm on Wednesday, June 6. The NCJFCJ's 81st Annual Conference is July 22-25, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. The Texas Center for the Judiciary is partnering with the Children's Commission to provide 25 judicial scholarships for this conference. This scholarship covers up to $2,000, including the registration fee and travel expenses. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must hear civil child welfare and/or juvenile cases and must attend the Texas Center for the Judiciary's Annual Child Welfare Judicial Conference, to be held November 12-14, 2018, in Georgetown, Texas. For questions regarding the NCJFCJ scholarship, please email Heidi Penix at heidip@yourhonor.com.To apply for the NCJFCJ scholarship, click here. This year's NACC Conference is August 23-25, 2018, in San Antonio, including a pre-conference Red Book Training on August 22nd. The Children's Commission will provide scholarships up to $1000 in the form of waived registration fees and conference-related travel expenses. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must hear civil child welfare and/or juvenile cases and must complete a post-conference survey from the Children's Commission. For questions regarding the NACC scholarship, please email children@txcourts.gov. To apply for the NACC scholarship, click here. To learn more about both scholarships, visit the Children's Commission website by clicking here.

05/04/18   Supreme Court Children's Commission Is Providing Attorney Conference Scholarships - Deadline 11:59 pm June 6
 

Scholarships are available through the Supreme Court Children's Commission for attorneys to attend both the one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Track at the State Bar's 2018 Advanced Family Law Course and to the National Association of Counsel for Children's 41st National Child Welfare, Juvenile & Family Law Conference and preconference Red Book Training (optional). Deadline to apply is 11:59 pm on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. The State Bar's Child Abuse and Neglect One-Day Track will be held on August 15, 2018, live in San Antonio, with video replays in Dallas on September 28, 2018; in Houston on October 5, 2018; and in South Padre on October 12, 2018. The scholarship covers the cost of registration for qualifying attorneys and is limited to those who are attending only the one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Track and not the full 2018 Advanced Family Law Course. To complete the scholarship application, click here. The NACC Conference is August 23-25, 2018, in San Antonio, and the pre-conference Red Book Training will be conducted on August 22, 2018. The Children's Commission will provide $1000 scholarships to 100 qualified attorneys in the form of waived registration fees and conference-related travel expenses. To meet the criteria for a scholarship, the applicant must currently represent DFPS or take appointments on the CPS docket, be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and with their appointing or presiding judge, and commit to completing a post-event survey. Additionally, the Commission will contact the attorney's presiding or appointing judge to determine whether the judge supports the attorney's application. To complete the NACC Conference scholarship application, click here. For more information about these scholarships and their requirements, please visit the Children's Commission website by clicking here. For questions regarding these scholarships, email children@txcourts.gov.

04/27/18   Deadline to Apply for Exam for TBLS Board Certification Is May 7
 

The deadline to apply to take the examination for board certification in Child Welfare Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is May 7, 2018. The exam will be administered in October 2018. To view the standards and other information about getting certified click here. To access the online application click here.

04/09/18   Briefs Filed in Appeal of District Court's Order in Federal Class Action on Behalf of Texas Foster Children
 

Briefs have been filed in the appeal of the District Court's Order to the Fifth Circuit by the State leaders who are the defendants in M.D. v. Abbott, the federal class action suit brought on behalf of Texas foster children. On March 12, 2018, the defendants/appellants filed their brief, and the plaintiffs responded on April 2, 2018. On April 9, 2018, amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs were filed by three advocacy organizations -- the National Association of Counsel for Children, Disability Rights Texas, and the National Association of Social Workers and its Texas Chapter. Oral argument was held in the Fifth Circuit on April 30, 2018. To hear an audio recording of the hearing, click here. To view the defendants' brief, click here; and for the plaintiffs' brief click here. For the brief of the National Association of Social Workers and its Texas Chapter, click here, and for that of Disability Rights Texas, click here, and for the brief filed by the National Association of Counsel for Children, click here.

03/22/18   Supreme Court Children's Commission Providing Free Trial Skills Training for Attorneys in CPS Cases - Application Deadline April 11, 2018
 

The Supreme Court Children's Commission is providing free, hands-on trial skills training for less experienced attorneys handling Child Protective Services cases in Texas who want to improve their litigation skills. A fictional CPS case and live witnesses are partnered with top-notch instructors to coach attendees through all stages of trial. For purposes of the training, "less experienced" means that prior to applying, applicants who take court appointments will have completed an average of 2 to 3 contested Adversary Hearings and/or final termination trials as first chair, and applicants who represent DFPS will have completed at least 3 contested Adversary Hearings and/or 3-5 final termination trials as first chair. The course is being conducted in San Marcos, Texas on July 25-27th, 2018. Hotel costs will be reimbursed for those living outside of San Marcos. Space is limited to 21 attorneys who represent children, parents, or DFPS on the CPS docket. Registration is free. The Children's Commission will contact each applicant's appointing judge to confirm suitability for the training. Attorneys will be notified about acceptance into the training by May 1, 2018. The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. For more information and to submit an application, click here.

03/20/18   Supreme Court Children's Commission Seeks Input from Judges for Legal Representation Study
 

The Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission is conducting a study of the legal representation provided to children and parents in child protection cases. The goal of the study is to capture the most accurate picture possible of how this legal representation is currently functioning and how it might be improved. To meet this goal, the study will survey key stakeholders, with different surveys for the different roles served in the child welfare system, including judges. The Commission will deliver a report of the study's findings to the Texas Legislature in September 2018. The survey will remain open until 11:59 pm on Friday, April 6, 2018. To learn more about the Legal Representation Study, click here. To access the survey, click here.

03/13/18   Supreme Court Children's Commission Seeks Input from Attorneys for Legal Representation Study
 

The Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission is conducting a study of the legal representation provided to children and parents in child protection cases. The goal of the study is to capture the most accurate picture possible of how this legal representation is currently functioning and how it might be improved. To meet this goal, the study will survey key stakeholders, with different surveys for the different roles served in the child welfare system, including attorneys. The Commission will deliver a report of the study's findings to the Texas Legislature in September 2018. The survey will remain open until 11:59 pm on Friday, March 30, 2018. To learn more about the Legal Representation Study, click here. To access the survey, click here.

02/15/18   Fifth Circuit Conducts Oral Argument on Whether to Stay Judge Jack's Order in Federal Class Action Suit on Behalf of Texas Foster Children
 

Oral argument in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals began at 2:00 p.m. on February 15, 2018, in M.D. v. Abbott, the federal class action suit on behalf of Texas foster children, concerning the State's motion to stay Judge Jack's Order that was entered on January 19, 2018. The Fifth Circuit granted a temporary stay to allow the parties time to brief the issue and appear at the oral argument. The Court is deciding whether the stay should be lifted now or continue until the State's appeal of Judge Jack's Order reaches a final conclusion. To hear an audio recording of the hearing, click here.

02/01/18   Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann Comments on New Child Protection Law Section
 

Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann has written a very compelling statement about the importance of the new SBOT Child Protection Law Section and the need to protect the rights of children. Justice Lehrmann is serving as the Chair of the new section. TLC believes that under Justice Lehrmann's outstanding leadership, the new section will elevate the practice of law in this field. To view Justice Lehrmann's powerful comments, click here. Also, don't miss the chance to become an inaugural member of the new Child Protection Law Section!! Your $20 dues will help the new section accomplish its mission to educate and empower the attorneys who are committed to representing our most vulnerable and important members of society. You can join through your SBOT "My Bar Page".


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