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A Tool for Lawyers

Children are seriously harmed when they are separated from their parents. There has been quite a bit of research that proves that harm and outlines the specific ways that children are harmed. This tool is designed to help lawyers use that research in their advocacy. Whether you are a child welfare lawyer who wants to encourage a court to balance the harm of removing a child with the risk of abuse or neglect that the child faces by remaining in the home, a delinquency lawyer who wants to encourage a placement that preserves a child’s relationship with their family, or an immigration lawyer who wants to emphasize the damage done when a child is separated from his or her parents, this information is laid out in a way that allows you to easily use the research. If you have an additional resource to be added or you would like to give feedback on this tool generally, please contact Cathy Krebs.

Information is up to date as of January, 2020.

Research on the Harm Resulting from Separation of Parent and Child

Resources for Parents and Children Facing Removal

The Effects of Toxic Stress on Children

Additional Resources

This tool was created by the Children’s Rights Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this document including DLA Piper LLP (US); Andrew Cohen, Dir. of Appellate Panel, Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, Children & Family Law Division; Aylin Corapcioglu and Mariel Smith, Legal Interns, Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, Children & Family Law Division; and Krista Ellis, former legal intern, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law.

The materials contained herein should not be construed to be the opinions of the American Bar Association unless adopted pursuant to the bylaws of the Association. Nothing contained herein is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice, and the users of this website are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. These materials and any forms and agreements herein are intended for educational and informational purposes only.