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February 22, 2016 Practice Points

Measuring the Impact of Children's Right to Counsel

By Cathy Krebs

First Focus has released an issue brief focused on measuring the impact of a right to counsel for children in the child welfare system. This brief aims to be a primer on the issue of right to counsel and to provide a "state of the field" of a child's right to counsel to improve policy and practice around the country. The brief argues that one way to improve court performance is to provide children in juvenile court with a lawyer. The brief looks to the American Bar Association Model Act for Children in Abuse, Neglect and Dependency proceedings, which calls for a right to counsel for children and then the brief "describes the scope of outcomes that the Model Act would affect and the challenges jurisdictions face in seeking to measure the impact of such representation."

Cathy Krebs is the committee manager of the Children's Rights Litigation Committee at the ABA Section of Litigation in Washington, D.C.

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