Children's Rights Litigation

Practice Points

What you need to know in a quick-to-read format. Find all of the Children's Rights Litigation Committee’s Practice Points in this archive.

Resources for Children’s Lawyers During a National Emergency

A national crisis is unsurprisingly overwhelming and stressful, but it can be even more so for those most vulnerable in our society. Children's lawyers have to advocate for their clients in times of emergency more than ever. To help, the Children's Rights Litigation Committee has curated some of their Practice Points that focus on resources and guidelines you can use during a crisis.

What You Should Know to Become a Better Lawyer

Knowing how busy children’s lawyers are, the Children's Rights Litigation Committee has currated some of their Practice Points into a short series to give you bite-sized, but critical, information to help you in your practice.


Five Resources for Lawyers Representing Transition Aged Youth
By Cathy Krebs – January 22, 2021
Some tips and resources to help you prepare your client to age out of the child welfare system.


Five Things Child Clients Need to Know About Sex Offender Registration Laws
By Riya Saha Shah – August 27, 2020
Attorneys for children must ensure their clients are fully informed of the consequences and requirements of registering as a sex offender. 

Five Ways Attorneys Can Use Adolescent Brain Science to Guide Their Advocacy
By Sneha Barve – July 14, 2020
The more science-based support youths receive during adolescence, the more likely they are to emerge into adulthood with healthy relationships and strong decision-making and coping skills.

Advocating for Special Education Services During COVID-19
By Marisol Garcia and Lisa Morrow – April 7, 2020
Some information to help you get started advocating for needed services, documenting any regression, and preparing information to seek compensatory services after schools re-open.

Tips for Advocating for Immigrant Clients During COVID-19
By Cathy Krebs – April 3, 2020
A few ideas to assist you while advocating in this crisis.

Tips to Ensure Your Child Clients Have Access to Technology
By Cathy Krebs – March 31, 2020
Children’s lawyers need to ensure their clients have resources that they need during this outbreak.

COVID-19 Resources and Information for Foster Youth
By Cathy Krebs – March 24, 2020
Several organizations have compiled accurate and up-to-date information to help you advocate for your clients.

Advocating for Kids in Detention and Congregate Care Amidst COVID-19 Concerns
By Cathy Krebs – March 23, 2020
Some information and arguments you can use to assist your clients.

Making an Emergency Plan with Transition Age Youth in Foster Care During a National Crisis
By Cathy Krebs – March 20, 2020
A resource for lawyers on how to ensure their clients’ needs are met during the current COVID-19 crisis.

At-Home Education and Learning Resources for Foster Youth During COVID-19
By Angie Schwartz – March 20, 2020
A few offerings to assist you in advocating for your child clients’ continued education and supporting foster parents.

Support for Youth Advocates During a National Emergency
By Cathy Moffa, Marcía Hopkins, and Sue Mangold – March 17, 2020
Ten measures Juvenile Law Center is taking during the COVID-19 emergency.

Five Tips for Lawyers Representing Children Under Five
By Tori Porell – February 26, 2020
Lawyers have a critical role to play for their youngest clients. Here are some tips to ensure you are providing holistic representation.

Five Tips for Lawyers to Secure Family Time
By Kathleen Creamer and Cathy Krebs – February 24, 2020
A few resources from the Children's Bureau to keep in mind while you advocate for visitation.


Six Tips to be a Better Children’s Lawyer from Youth with Lived Expertise
By Cathy Krebs – December 18, 2019
These tips underscored a message the committee heard over and over—lawyers should not give up on any kid. Every child is worth fighting for.

Five Things to Consider When Dealing with Interstate Placement of Children
By Jonathan D. Conant – November 11, 2019
Knowing these aspects of the ICPC can help prevent the unnecessary return of children to the jurisdiction of their originating states.

Five Ways to Get Involved in the Children’s Rights Litigation Committee
By Shannon Prown – November 7, 2019
Want to help out this committee? Here are a few options.

Five Tips for Lawyers to Talk to Clients about Safety
By Jacob B. Carmi – October 22, 2019
A few points to keep in mind when you meet with your youth clients.

A Guide to Help Keep Families Together
By Cathy Krebs – October 15, 2019
As you work to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, this tool can help you navigate the new law.

Five Tips for Challenging Placement in a Residential Setting
By Cristina F. Freitas, Debbie F. Freitas, and Alexandra G. Roark – September 6, 2019
A few ideas to help you get started.

Stop Solitary Confinement for Kids
By Sophie Eaglesham – July 26, 2019
Use this report in local facilities to make changes and in litigation to argue that isolation should not be used when there are other ways to keep children and staff safe.

Ensuring the Safety of Clients in Detention Facilities
By Sophie Eaglesham – July 8, 2019
A checklist to help lawyers discern whether or not their clients are being housed in facilities that comprehensively meet the children’s needs.

Volunteering to Prevent Family Homelessness
By Cathy Krebs  – June 21, 2019
Many children enter, and stay in, foster care because of housing instability. Your pro bono work could help them.

Five Tips for Advocating for the “Most Connected Placement”
By Virginia Corrigan, Brent Pattison, Jennifer Pokempner, and Jennifer Rodriguez – May 20, 2019
A few ways you can help your child clients stay in contact with the people who love them and their own communities.

Government-Funded Discrimination in Foster Care Placement Decisions
By  Jessalyn Schwartz – April 5, 2019
What practitioners and advocates should know about the South Carolina waiver.         

Five Tips for Prioritizing Extracurriculars as a Key Intervention for Youth
By Virginia Corrigan – March 25, 2019
Here are a few ways lawyers can help their clients access these important opportunities.

Five Ways Lawyers Can Build Resilience in Child Clients
By Eliza M. Hirst – March 14, 2019
As an advocate, you have the important power to change not only the trajectory of their lives but their mental development too!

Five Things about Trauma that Children’s Lawyers Should Know
By Eliza M. Hirst and Cathy Krebs – March 11, 2019
It is important to have a basic understanding of and recognize how trauma impacts child clients and their behavior.

New Federal Policy Invests in Counsel for Children in Child Welfare Cases
By Cathy Krebs – February 22, 2019
Federal funds can now provide a 50 percent match for any money contributed to the legal defense of either party.

What You Should Know About Rose Tree Media School District v. G.S.
By Jessalyn Schwartz – January 28, 2019
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision solidifies protections for homeless youth under McKinney-Vento.


How Lawyers and Judges Can Help to Prioritize Prevention
By Jessalyn Schwartz – December 17, 2018
The Administration for Children and Families’ informational memorandum could help attorneys and others invested prevention efforts to effectuate meaningful change moving forward.

Ten Ways Youth Sex Offender Registration Harms Kids
By Riya Saha Shah – December 10, 2018
Registering youth does not make children and communities safer—it perpetuates the cycle of child sexual abuse and causes irreparable harm.

Five Facts About Juvenile Sex Offender Registration
By Riya Saha Shah – December 5, 2018
What lawyers need to know about sex offense recidivism in youth.

Inform Your Advocacy for Transition-Aged Clients Using State-Specific Data
By Jessalyn Schwartz – November 19, 2018
Understanding the experiences of young people aging-out of foster care in America is critical if outcomes are to improve.

Five Ways to Address Implicit Bias Within Our Systems
By Cathy Krebs – October 31, 2018
Though it can feel overwhelming to confront these issues, especially within a large system, here are a few ways to help you.

Five Ways to Address Your Implicit Bias
By Cathy Krebs – October 4, 2018
A few tips on to help you overcome any unintentional bias you may have about your clients.

Five Tips for Successfully Interviewing Your Child Client
By Cathy Krebs – September 5, 2018
A few easy ways you can improve this essential skill and build better foundations for legal representation.

Utilizing Florida’s New Permanency and Transition Planning Guidance
By Jessalyn Schwartz – August 27, 2018
New ideas and transition planning that may be helpful to advocates and policymakers in other states.

Five Ways to Get Involved in the Children’s Rights Litigation Committee
By Cathy Krebs – July 23, 2018
Five practical suggestions for contributing to the committee.

Five Steps for Addressing Compassion Fatigue
By Cathy Krebs – July 3, 2018
Provide zealous representation to your clients without experiencing compassion fatigue.

Tools to Assist You in Addressing the Overlap between Homelessness and Juvenile Justice
By Cathy Krebs – May 31, 2018
Homelessness and juvenile justice often go hand in hand.

Resources to Assist Lawyers in Advocating for Older Youth
By Cathy Krebs – May 31, 2018
A 50-state survey to help advocates understand their state's laws for supporting foster care youth beyond the age of 18.

Updated ICE Policy on the Detention and Removal of Alien Parents or Legal Guardians
By Jessalyn Schwartz – April 23, 2018
Relevant practice considerations under the newly issued policy.

Addressing Discriminatory Discipline in Durham Public Schools
By Jessalyn Schwartz – March 6, 2018
An agreement to allow federal oversight of the North Carolina school system could serve as a framework for improving equity in education.

What Lawyers Should Know about Federal Child Welfare Funding Changes
By Cathy Krebs and Sophie Prown – February 27, 2018
The continuing budget resolution enacted into law on February 9 contained significant changes to the way the child welfare system is funded.

Tips for Addressing the Bullying of Disabled Students
By Sophie Prown – January 22, 2018
These students are bullied significantly more than their non-disabled peers.


Tools to Assist You in Improving Education for Court-Involved Youth
By Sophie Prown – December 22, 2017
Educational success in foster care is an indicator of lifetime success overall.

How to Inform Parents of Students with Disabilities of Their Rights in Private School Programs
By Sophie Prown – December 18, 2017
Often parents do not know the rights and protections they are forfeiting when enrolling their children in private schools.

Voices of Recovery Podcast Series
By ABA CoLAP – November 10, 2017
The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs debuted the first of a series of podcasts that will address substance use disorders, mental health issues, addiction, and recovery issues. Episode 1 features attorney Laurie Besden, the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, who shares her battles with alcohol and drug addiction.

Child Abuse Includes Sex Trafficking Under CAPTA
By Bob Murphy – October 31, 2017
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 requires that states amend their current definitions of child abuse and neglect to include victims of sex trafficking.

Youth in Privatized Foster Care: What You as an Advocate Need to Know
By Jessalyn Schwartz – October 30, 2017
The Child Welfare Oversight and Accountability Act of 2017 are proposals based on a 50-state inquiry focused on how more children, especially those with special needs, are being pulled into the system.

The End of DACA: What You Need to Know for Your Clients
By Jessalyn Schwartz – September 11, 2017
In the coming days, it is important to stay aware of updates and other changes that may come as the immigration debate continues.

Senate Seeks Reauthorization of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
By Jessalyn Schwartz – September 7, 2017
The bipartisan bill was approved unanimously.

How to Use Adolescent Brain Research to Improve Your Legal Practice
By Cathy Krebs – August 14, 2017
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a new report “Aligning Child Welfare Practice With Adolescent Brain Development."

Practical Tools to Meet the Educational Needs of Kids in the Juvenile Justice System
By Cheron Z. Mims – June 9, 2017
With more than 60,000 youth in correctional facilities, web-based toolkits like this are more necessary than ever.

How to Support the Educational Needs of Youth in Juvenile Justice System
By Cheron Z. Mims – June 9, 2017
A project designed as a checklist to spur broader reform.

How Can Systems Keep Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth Safe?
By Cathy Krebs – April 24, 2017
A new report analyzes the law and policy protections for TGNC youth.

Senate Overturns Every Student Succeeds Act Accountability Regulations
By Kristin Kelly – April 11, 2017
Can ESSA still be utilized to meet the educational needs of foster youth?

Ensuring Quality Counsel in Child Welfare Cases for Children, Parents, and the Agency
By Cathy Krebs – March 14, 2017
The HHS Administration for Children and Families Children’s Bureau has issued an information memorandum focused on providing high-quality legal representation for all parties in child welfare court proceedings.

Can the Input of Youth Improve the Justice System?
By Jessalyn Schwartz – February 17, 2017
Some youths cited lack of food and hot water as reasons for their truancy.

How Do You Implement the Every Student Succeeds Act?
By Jessalyn Schwartz – January 18, 2017
The Department of Education issued guidance on consolidated state plans, report cards, and graduation rates.


Watson Chapel School District Consent Decree
By Sarah Durham – December 20, 2016
Both parties are striving to improve student achievement and the overall school climate.

Ensuring an Effective Defender Service for Youth
By Cathy Krebs – November 22, 2016
A newly released report details solutions for children who are routinely provided inadequate representation by (or outright denied access to) lawyers.

How to Address the Overrepresentation of Families of Color in the Child Welfare System
By Cathy Krebs – October 20, 2016
The guidance is intended to ensure that child welfare courts and agencies are complying with federal civil rights laws.

Health Challenges for Forster Youth
By Cathy Krebs – October 18, 2016

Lodi Unified School District Settlement
By Nicole Scialabba – October 3, 2016
The agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Ed's Office of Civil Rights would end racially discriminatory discipline policies.

Class-Action Filed Against County Jail on Behalf of Juveniles in Solitary Confinement
By Nicole Scialabba – October 3, 2016
The lawsuit was on behalf of six 17-year olds who have spent between 30 and 115 days in isolation.

The Price of Juvenile Crime
By Cathy Krebs – September 2, 2016
A recent report studied the cost of court fines and fees imposed on youth and their families.

Access to Justice for Children in Washington State
By Sharon McCartney – August 22, 2016
A new report underscores the importance of legal representation for foster kids.

Social Security Administration Extends Application Period for Youth in Foster Care
By Jessalyn Schwartz – August 22, 2016
The new program allows youth with disabilities extra time to apply for SSI payments.

Guidance on Every Student Succeeds Act
By Caroline Shurig – July 7, 2016
Addresses how state and local education and child welfare agencies must collaborate for the success of foster care children.

U.S. DOE Releases Report on OCR to Ensure Educational Equity for All Students
By Caroline Shurig – June 24, 2016

U.S. DOE Office of Civil Rights Unveils Data for 2013–2014 School Year
By Jessalyn Schwartz – June 24, 2016

UCLA Civil Rights Project Publishes Study on Financial Impact of School Exclusion
By Jessalyn Schwartz – June 16, 2016

"Burdened for Life: The Myth of Juvenile Record Confidentiality and Expungement in Illinois"
By Julie Biehl – May 31, 2016

Michigan Court Rules on Obligation to Address a Parent's Known Disabilities
By Richard Cozzola – May 11, 2016

Study on Racial Disparities in Youth Commitments and Arrests Released
By Jessalyn Schwartz – April 25, 2016

National Network for Youth Generates Study on Effective Practices to End Youth Homelessness
By Jessalyn Schwartz – April 21, 2016

U.S. DOE Reaches Resolution Agreement with Newark Public Schools Regarding School Closure
By Oscar Daniel Lopez – April 5, 2016

"Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse Fatalities"
By Cathy Krebs – March 23, 2016

Special Immigrant Juvenile Brochure
By Cathy Krebs – March 16, 2016

DOJ Guidance on Enforcement of Fines and Fees
By Cathy Krebs – March 16, 2016

Measuring the Impact of Children's Right to Counsel
By Cathy Krebs – February 22, 2016

Ban on Solitary Confinement of Juveniles in Federal Prison
By Cathy Krebs – February 8, 2016

Ban on Mandatory Life Without Parole Is Now Retroactive
By Cathy Krebs – January 25, 2016


Re-Authorization of Every Student Succeeds Act
By Cathy Krebs – December 22, 2015

Might the ADA and Rehabilitation Act Require Accommodation of the Effects of Trauma in Education under the ADA and Section 504?
By Donielle Robinson – November 24, 2015

A Short Primer on Objections
By Richard Cozzola – November 17, 2015

Dismantling the Sexual Abuse-to-Prison Pipeline
By Cathy Krebs – November 7, 2015

Department of Justice in Violation Through Use of Policies of Indefinite Detainment of Children
By Jessalyn Schwartz – September 4, 2015

Georgia Guilty of Segregation of Students with Behavioral and Educational Disabilities
By Jessalyn Schwartz – September 4, 2015

Children with Disabilities Found to Be Disciplined at Much Higher Rate than Other Students
By Jessalyn Schwartz – September 4, 2015

Response to "What Child Welfare Attorneys Need to Know about Shaken Baby Syndrome"
By Cathy Krebs – June 12, 2015

Law to Limit Use of Seclusion and Restraints on Children in Connecticut
By Jessalyn Schwartz – June 8, 2015

ICAN Yammer Group
By Cathy Krebs – May 21, 2015

Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap?
By Cathy Krebs – March 2, 2015

Should We Be Concerned about the End of CHIP?
By Jessalyn Schwartz – February 4, 2015

Toughening Child Abuse Laws in Pennsylvania
By Jessalyn Schwartz – February 3, 2015

Shame on U.S.
By Cathy Krebs – January 28, 2015

Unaccompanied Children Resource Center
By Cathy Krebs – January 28, 2015


Better Education for America's Incarcerated Youth
By Marlene Sallo – December 9, 2014

First-Ever Comprehensive Evaluation on Juvenile Records
By Marlene Sallo – November 14, 2014

Report Blasts Oklahoma Child Welfare System
By Robert M. Murphy – November 3, 2014

Keeping Kids Out of Foster Care
By Richard Cozzola – October 14, 2014

Breaking Down Barriers for African American Girls
By Cathy Krebs – October 5, 2014

Update: J.E.F.M. v. Holder
By Jennifer Baum – September 9, 2014

National Standards for Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses
By Cathy Krebs – September 2, 2014

Lack of Counsel Violates Washington Youth's Legal Rights
By Casey Trupin – June 30, 2014

Comprehensive School Discipline Consensus Report
By Jessalyn Schwartz – June 11, 2014

Toolkit for Status Offense Reform Released
By Cathy Krebs – May 29, 2014

New Civil Rights Guidance for Charter Schools
By Jessalyn Schwartz – May 28, 2014

Florida Aims to Reform Child-Welfare System
By Jessalyn Schwartz – April 11, 2014

Office for Civil Rights Releases New School Discipline Data
By Marlene Sallo – April 2, 2014

Fourth Edition of Educating Children Without Housing Released
By Cathy Krebs – May 29, 2014

The Impact of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Law
By Cathy Krebs – May 29, 2014

U.S. Department of Education & DOJ Release School Discipline Guidance
By Marlene Sallo – January 9, 2014

Zero Tolerance Does Not Make Schools Safer
By Cathy Krebs – January 9, 2014