Disaster Planning Child Welfare Law Issues

Disaster Planning Child Welfare Law Issues


About the Project

The ABA Center on Children and the Law, working with our partners the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Center for State Courts, continues to work on aiding legal and judicial system responses to the needs of children and families affected by future disasters (like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005).

Our responses in 2005 and 2006 centered around three areas of assistance:

1. Determining and Helping Meet the More Immediate Needs of Dependency Courts and Child Welfare Legal Offices in the Hurricane-Affected Areas
2. Helping Serve the Legal Needs of Katrina-Affected Children and Families Through Provision of Pro Bono Child Welfare Law Experts
3. Studying Child Welfare Legal Issues Affecting Children and Families in Katrina-Like Disasters, Including Needed State and Federal Legislative Responses

Links to Our Partners' Disaster-Related Web pages:

Planning for Emergencies: Immediate Events and Their Aftermath-A Guideline for Local Courts

Click here to download the November 2005 document published by The Justice Programs Office, School of Public Affairs, and the American University. It was developed under a grant from the State Justice Institute.

What Legal and Court System Issues/Needs Were Raised by Katrina

In 2005 and 2006 we examined and addressed some complex legal issues raised by disasters/emergencies like Katrina. We continue to want to hear from folks on, and even give you a chance to share thoughts about, law and court related issues related to Katrina and other disasters affecting large numbers of children involved in the child welfare system.

Please e-mail us with those thoughts at: Andrea.Khoury@americanbar.org

We developed a needs assessment tool that we shared to help identify legal and judicial system needs specifically related to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, but this could be applicable to future disasters as well, with regard to child welfare cases (i.e., cases involving abused and neglected children and children in foster care, as well as children at immediate risk of entering the child protection system).