Cover image for Child welfare and the law
Child welfare and the law
Stein, Theodore J.
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : CWLA Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xix, 389 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


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Home Location
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KF3735 .S74 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Federal and state legislative actions affect the number of programs available to help children and their families. In this book, the author, a professor of social welfare as well as an attorney, provides an overview of the child welfare and judicial systems, then examines the federal and state legislative and judicial foundations of modern child welfare practice; court decisions and their impact on the rights of birthparents, foster parents, and children; class action suits and their impact on child welfare; and the role of child welfare workers in the legal process. Appendices provide detailed instruction on conducting legal research and excerpts from a consent decree.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Law Definedp. 2
Sources of the Lawp. 3
Styles of Reasoningp. 6
Sources of Conflictp. 9
Part I Understanding the Relationship of Child Welfare and the Law
Introduction to Part Ip. 17
1 The Child Welfare Systemp. 19
Social Welfare Policy: Federal and State Rolesp. 20
Public and Voluntary Child Welfare Agenciesp. 23
2 The Judicial Systemp. 27
Hierarchy of the Courtsp. 27
Court Decisions: Precedent Setting and Bindingp. 29
Civil, Criminal, and Constitutional Lawp. 31
The Law and Professional Standards of Social Work Practicep. 35
The Juvenile Courtp. 36
Part II Legislative and Legal Foundations of Child Welfare Practice
Introduction to Part IIp. 53
3 Federal Legislationp. 55
The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Actp. 55
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Actp. 65
Adoptionp. 66
The Independent Living Initiativesp. 71
The Abandoned Infants Assistance Actp. 72
The Indian Child Welfare Actp. 72
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Actp. 73
Social Servicesp. 74
4 State Law and Agency Practicep. 79
Prevention of Placement and Protection for Abused and Neglected Childrenp. 80
Child Protectionp. 82
Children in Out-of-Home Carep. 96
Adoptionp. 101
Summaryp. 105
5 Protecting Children with Disabilitiesp. 109
The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Actp. 110
The Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Actp. 123
Summaryp. 132
Part III Court Decisions and Client Rights
Introduction to Part IIIp. 139
6 Constitutional Frameworkp. 141
The Eighth Amendmentp. 141
The Fourteenth Amendmentp. 142
7 The Rights of Biological Parentsp. 145
Investigations of Child Abuse and Neglectp. 145
Removing Children from Their Homesp. 150
Family Reunificationp. 152
Termination of Parental Rightsp. 153
Fathers' Rightsp. 156
Parents in Prisonp. 160
Summaryp. 164
8 The Rights of Foster Parentsp. 167
Right to a Preremoval Hearingp. 169
Adoption by Foster Parentsp. 171
Summaryp. 173
9 Children's Rightsp. 175
Legal Representation for Childrenp. 177
Protection from Harm for Children Not in State Custodyp. 179
Children in State Custodyp. 181
Children in Family Foster Homesp. 186
Summaryp. 188
Part IV Reforming Social Services Through Litigation
Introduction to Part IVp. 193
10 Legislative Versus Judicial Reformp. 195
Judicial Interpretation and the Legitimacy of the Courts to Reform Institutionsp. 197
11 The Litigation Processp. 201
Prelitigationp. 201
Litigating a Class Action Lawsuitp. 202
The Court Rulingp. 221
Remediesp. 223
The Length of Litigationp. 227
Summaryp. 228
12 Implementing Reform Measuresp. 231
The Subject of Implementationp. 232
Studies of Implementation of Remedial Ordersp. 234
Factors Affecting the Implementation of Remedial Ordersp. 237
Planning for Implementation: A Brief Examplep. 248
Monitoring Compliance with Remedial Plansp. 254
Summaryp. 258
Part V Participation in the Legal Process
Introduction to Part Vp. 265
13 Evidence and the Burden of Proofp. 267
Types of Evidencep. 267
The Burden of Proofp. 271
14 Building a Case Recordp. 273
Descriptive Recordingp. 275
Elements of the Case Recordp. 276
Use of Information from Case Records in Courtp. 281
15 Testimony of Childrenp. 283
Competencyp. 284
Protective Devicesp. 286
Corroborating Testimonyp. 288
16 Testimony of Workersp. 293
Expert Testimonyp. 293
Privileged Communicationp. 297
Testifying in Courtp. 300
Part VI Conclusion
17 Conclusionp. 309
Implications for Practitionersp. 309
Implications for Children and Familiesp. 310
Implications for the Futurep. 311
Part VII Appendixes
Appendix A Conducting Legal Researchp. 315
Locating the Lawp. 315
Reading Legal Citationsp. 318
Appendix B Excerpt from a Consent Decreep. 323
I. Trainingp. 323
II. Supervision and Case Loadsp. 325
III. Planning and Reviewp. 325
Part VIII References, Case Citations, and Indexes
Referencesp. 333
Case Citationsp. 347
Subject Indexp. 361
Case Indexp. 381
About the Authorp. 389