Prepetition Legal Representation

On Wednesday, Sept 23, 2020, the Family Justice Initiative hosted a webinar on prepetition legal representation for parents and youth in the child welfare system. Presenters discussed prepetition representation programs, including funding, getting started, relationship with the child welfare agency as a referral source, best practices and outcomes.

A Conversation about the Manifestation of White Supremacy in the Institution of Child Welfare, Level 2

This September 16, 2020 webinar focused on the impact of racism and white supremacy in child welfare policies and practices. Speakers explored who holds power in child welfare practice, office culture, hierarchy within organizations, representation versus tokenism and “civility,” and the role of the community and how stakeholders must hold each other accountable for race equity to occur. Practice tips and tools were offered.

Money Matters How Funding Changes Affect Legal Representation Quality for Children and Parents

This August 31, 2020 webinar highlights findings from the ABA Center on Children and the Law's assessment of the impact of funding changes on child welfare legal representation quality in California. It shares the practical implications of the findings and guidance for advocating for greater investments in child and parent counsel in communities. Related resources. 

A Conversation about the Manifestation of White Supremacy in the Institution of Child Welfare, Level 1

In this July 15, 2020 webinar, speakers from across the country discussed the impact of racism and white supremacy in child welfare policies and practices. The panel defined terms, provided historical context for the systemic destabilization of families, and laid the framework for a second level of continued discussion about what child welfare advocates can do to contribute to true community and family well-being and success.

Multidisciplinary Representation and its Positive Impact on Reunification 

This July 1, 2020 webinar highlights the benefits multidisciplinary legal teams, explains the Children’s Bureau recent decision to invest federal IV-E dollars in the multidisciplinary legal representation model for parents and children, shares a 2019 study on this model, and explains how this model supports child welfare agencies and most importantly, children and their parents.

Interdisciplinary Parent Representation Webinar

On May 21, 2020, the National Alliance for Parent Representation hosted the webinar  "Interdisciplinary Parent Representation: Bringing Hope to Families During the Pandemic and Beyond."  Over 350 live participants joined.

Why Quality Legal Representation Matters for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders

Center attorney Mimi Laver joins a panel to explore the attributes of quality legal representation for parents involved in child welfare proceedings. It focuses on the parent attorney's role to ensure reasonable efforts are made on behalf of families affected by substance use disorders to access quality services to prevent removal and support timely reunification and permanency. 

COVID-19 and Child Welfare Cases

In coordination with the U.S. Children’s Bureau, the Center helped host a webinar on COVID-19 and Child Welfare Cases. The webinar highlights the federal government's recent guidance on emerging legal issues in child welfare cases and helps attorneys and judges apply that guidance in case-by-case decision making. 

How Adolescent Brain Science Supports Youth Engagement in Court Hearings and Case Planning 

Held February 27, 2020, 1-2 EST
Hosted by the ABA Center on Children and the Law, Commission on Youth at Risk, and the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. This free webinar for all audiences, with a focus on how attorneys and judges can better understand how to apply adolescent brain science in child welfare cases.


  • The webinar featured Leslie Leve and Sue Mangold, two members of the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) Committee that produced the 2019 “Promise of Adolescence” report.
  • Attorneys from the ABA Center on Children and the Law  walked through case scenarios showing how this research can inform legal practice using the ABA’s Adolescent Brain Science Legal Toolkit

Highlights from National Reunification Month and the National Alliance for Parent Representation

Presented by Mimi Laver, hosted by the Birth Parent National Network, June 28, 2018.

Trump’s Policy of Separating Families at the Border: U.S. Law, Court Rulings and Administration Policy

Presented by Prudence Beidler Carr, hosted by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, June 28, 2018.