Volume 42, No. 1 (Spring 2008) — Table of Contents
Linda D. Elrod (Cricket)
Uniform Representation of Children in Abuse, Neglect, and Custody Proceedings Act
This Act with prefatory note and comments (last revised or amended in 2007) was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, approved, and recommended for enactment at its annual conference in Pasadena, California, July 27—August 3, 2007.
The Uniform Representation of Children in Abuse, Neglect, and Custody Proceedings Act: Bridging the Divide Between Pragmatism and Idealism
Barbara Ann Atwood
This article explains the major policy debates underlying the Uniform Act (URCANCPA) and the rationales for the positions taken. It provides a brief background on the drafting history, gives an overview of state law, and summarizes competing standards for children's representatives authorized by the act. Finally it explores more fully the policy positions taken in the act with emphasis on the "best interest attorney" option in the statutory scheme.
Righting Wrongs: A Reply to the Uniform Law Commission's Uniform Representation of Children in Abuse, Neglect, and Custody Proceedings Act
Katherine Hunt Federle
This article reviews the Uniform Act (URCANCPA) in detail and declares it "a piece of paternalistic legislation that, while ostensibly well-intentioned, undermines the rights of children, violates the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and sets the law regarding the representation of children back twenty years."
What Does a Child's Right to Be Heard in Legal Proceedings Really Mean?—ABA Standards Do Not Go Far Enough
This article takes the ABA Section of Family Law to task for not going far enough in its Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Children in Custody Cases. It questions the assumptions of the Act, reasserts the importance of the child's voice, explains what the child's voice means, and provides suggested amendments to the ABA Custody Standards to ensure that they remain true to their underlying principles.
This article sets forth a vision for a different child welfare system in which parents work in partnership with the state. The author believes this would both prevent child abuse and neglect, as much as possible, and for cases that do occur, better solve the underlying problems because the state and parents would work together. The author describes a parent-centered vision, drawing on earlier arguments she has made for improving the child welfare system. In this re-imagined system, parents are the key to the safety and well-being of children.
Report and Proposed ABA Model Act Governing the Representation of Children in Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Proceedings
This is a working draft of this Model Act and Report (August 2008), which was drafted by representatives from various organizations, most notably the ABA, NCCUSL, NACC, and participants from the Representing Children in Families UNLV Conference.