At the 16th ABA Children and the Law Conference plenary session held on July 24, two compelling speakers made the case for improved child welfare in the United States. In keeping with the conference theme, “Advancing Access to Justice for Children and Families,” Robert Schwartz, executive director and co-founder of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, reflected on the evolving notions of justice for children in the last 40 years. Speaking at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., he reviewed the evolution of child welfare legislation over the last four decades, and how it has been affected by the increase in juvenile incarceration (including solitary confinement), overuse of psychotropic drugs, lack of confidentiality and transparency and seeing parents as the problem, among other issues. He also traced the advent of concepts of permanence, representation for parents and advancing normalcy for foster children.
Read More »