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Madelyn Freundlich

Child Welfare and the Law
SSW791.94 (Spring, 2012)
Wednesday - 9:00-10:50AM - Room: SB 214


Session 1 - February 1, 2012
- Introduction
Resources and Readings:
No Reading Assignments

Session 2 - February 8, 2012
- Understanding the relationship between Child Welfare and the Law - The Child Welfare System
Session #2 Handouts
Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA. 
Introduction, Chapter 1.

How the Child Welfare Systems Works. Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Learning About Child Protective Services.  A Family’s Guide to the Child Welfare System

Foster Care. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The AFCARS Report. Preliminary FY 2010 Estimates.  US Department of Health and Human Services.

Child Maltreatment 2010


Session 3 - February 15, 2012
- Understanding the relationship between Child Welfare and the Law The Judicial System
Session #3 Handouts
Resources and Readings:

Hardin, M.  (2005). Role of the legal and judicial system.  In G. Mallon and P. Hess (Eds.) Child welfare for the twenty-first century: A handbook of practices, policies, and programs (pp. 687-706).  New York: Columbia University Press. (pdf)

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapter 2.

Fact Sheet: Family Dependency Treatment Court: Applying the Drug Court Model in Child Maltreatment Cases.

Glossary of Court Terms

NYC Family Court PINS JD


Session 4 - February 22, 2012
- Federal Child Welfare Legislation
Session #4 Handouts
Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 7.

A Brief Legislative History of the Child Welfare System.

State Child Welfare Legislation 2009. National Conference of State Legislators. 

State Statute Search. Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Use the State Statute Search to answer the following:

  1. Does New York State law address concurrent planning for children and youth in foster care?
  2. What are principal considerations under New York State law in determining the best interest of a child?
  3. Under New York State law, where may a parent permanently leave an infant without being prosecuted for abandonment or neglect?
  4. At what age must a child in New York consent to adoption in order for the adoption to go forward?
  5. Does New York State allow the readoption of children adopted in another country?

Mid-Term Assignment Due By March 28, 2012.
A short essay (5 to 8 pages) that addresses the practice implications of two provisions of one federal child welfare law. Counts as 25% of your final grade.

  1. Choose one federal law (Option #1, #2, #3 or #4 below) and its accompanying legal requirements.
  2. Develop an essay of 5-8 pages that:
    1. Provides an overview of the federal law selected: Its purpose, a brief history
    2. Answers for each of the two legal provisions
      1. What the provision requires and how the law is now different from prior law (or it is an issue not previously addressed by law)
      2. Why lawmakers likely believed that the provision is important
      3. What changes can be expected in child welfare practice with the new legal requirement
      4. What impact you might expect the new law to have on the children, youth and families served by the child welfare system
      5. What kind of data or information regarding implementation would be important to have in accessing the impact of the new requirement
  3. Summarizes the scope and impact of the legal provisions discussed

Option #1:  CAPTA Reauthorization of 2010 

  1. Criminal Record and Child Abuse/Neglect Registry Checks
    CAPTA has a separate mandatory “background check” requirement from that found in Title IV-E. The new act cites the IV-E requirement, at 42 USC 671(a)(20), as the criteria for making these mandatory record checks. But CAPTA’s provision remains broader than the IV-E provision in one important way: It mandates criminal record checks for “other adult relatives and non-relatives residing in the household”of prospective foster and adoptive parents. Unlike CAPTA, 671(a)(20) does not require criminal record checks on these other adults in the home, yet it does require checking child abuse/neglect registries on “any other adult living in the home” as well as for criminal record checks on those adults “living in the home of [any prospective] relative guardian” before federal kinship guardian assistance can be provided.

  2. Participation by Former Child Victims and Homeless Youth Advocates in System Reform
    Two new provisions open the door for wider participation by former victims of abuse or neglect, including former foster children, in state groups involved with improving the child protection system. The CAPTA-mandated citizen review panels may now include “adult former victims of child abuse or neglect,” and the state Children’s Justice Act task forces now must include “adult former victims of child abuse or neglect” as well as “individuals experienced in working with homeless children and youth.”

Option #2:  Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008

  1. Expansion of Eligibility for the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
    The law now allows for services under the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to be provided to youth who leave foster care for kinship guardianship or adoption after age 16.  Youth who are adopted from foster care or leave foster care for kinship guardianship after age 16 also are eligible for Chaffee Education and Training Vouchers.

  2. Expansion of Federally Funded Child Welfare Training
    The law allows states to claim federal reimbursement for short-term training for relative guardians; private child welfare agency staff who provide services to children in foster care; court personnel who handle child abuse and neglect cases; attorneys for child welfare agencies, children and parents;  guardians ad litem; and CASAs (court appointed special advocates).

Option #3.  The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovations Act of 2011

  1.  Monitoring of Children’s Trauma and Use of Psychotropic Medications
    The law expands on the health planning requirements for children, originally amended under the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, to direct states to also monitor a child’s emotional trauma associated with a child maltreatment and removal from home.  States are to include within the health oversight provisions, tracking of prescription medication and the protocols for the appropriate use and monitoring of psychotropic medications.

  2. Very Young Children in Foster Care
    The law requires states to include a description in their state plans of their activities to address the developmental needs of the very young (children under 5 years of age). States are directed to include in their state plan a description of the activities the state has undertaken to reduce the length of time these infants and toddlers are without a permanent family placement, and the activities the state undertakes to address the developmental needs of such children who receive benefits or services funded by federal child welfare programs (Title IV-B and Title IV-E).

Option #4.  Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006

  1. Expediting Interstate Placements
    The law requires that each state have in effect procedures for the orderly and timely interstate placements of children.  The law sets time frames for home studies requested by another state to be completed and time frames for a state to accept a home study from another state.

  2. Caseworker Visits with Children Placed Out of State
    The law in increased the required frequency of state caseworkers’ visits for children placed in foster care out of sate without imposing restrictions on either state’s ability to contract with a private agency to perform those visits.

Sessions 5 - February 29, 2012
- Understanding the Relationship Between Child Welfare and the Law: The New York City Child Welfare and Legal System

Guest Speaker:
Brad Jarmin, MSW, JD
Special Counsel, The Administration for Children’s Services, New York City
Brad Jarman is employed as special counsel with the Administration for Children’s Services in the Legal Support and Training Unit.  In this role Mr. Jarman provides support to the Division of Family Court Legal Services through policy analysis, research, trainings, and special projects.  Prior to joining this unit he worked in New York County Family Court as an attorney and as a supervisor, litigating child abuse and neglect cases on behalf of the city.

Prior to joining Children’s Services Mr. Jarman was involved with a community mental health center serving the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities; he has also worked extensively with deaf youth in both residential and classroom settings.  Mr. Jarman is a licensed attorney and a licensed master social worker in New York State.  He received his juris doctor from Rutgers University School of Law – Newark, and his master of social work degree from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Resources and Readings:

The Administration for Children’s Services

Parent Handbook: A Guide for Parents with Children in Foster Care

ACS Child Welfare Cases Flow


Sessions 6 - March 7, 2012
- Social Workers and the Courts
Session #6 Handout

Guest Speaker: Glenn Metsch-Ampsel, JD, Lawyers for Children

Glenn Metsch-Ampel is Deputy Executive Director of Lawyers For Children, a non-profit child advocacy organization that provides legal representation and social work services to children in foster care, abuse, neglect, custody, visitation, termination of parental rights, adoption, paternity and family offense proceedings. Mr. Metsch-Ampel is the former Executive Director of Housing Conservation Coordinators (a not-for-profit housing advocacy organization), the former Managing Director of Amnesty International USA's Concerts For Human Rights Foundation and a former Adjunct Professor at New York Law School. Mr. Metsch-Ampel is a current appointee of the Family Court Advisory Committee, Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department; and a member of the Council on Children of the Association of the Bar afire City of New York (ABCNY), the Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee of the ABCNY, the Children in Courts Committee of the Family Court of the City of NY, the Family Court Child Protective Think Tank and the Metrics Workgroup of the Family Court of the City of New York. He is also a trained family mediator, Mr. Metsch-Ampel is admitted to the Bars of the States of New York and New Jersey.

Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapters 15, 16, 17 and 18.

Working in the best interest of children: Facilitating the collaboration of lawyers and social workers in abuse and neglect case.  Mary Kay Kisthardt. Pages 37-45


Sessions 7 - March 14, 2012 
- Social Worker-Attorney Collaboration

Guest Speaker
Nanette Schrandt, MSW, Director, Social Work Services, The Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society of New York City

Nanette Schrandt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Director of Juvenile Services at  the NYC Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice where she oversees the social work, paralegal, and investigative staff.   Nanette has 30 years of experience as a forensic social worker and trains extensively in the field.  Among other appointments, she has served on the advisory board of the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, NYS Court Appointed Special Advocates, the model Children’s Law Office Project of the National Association of Counsel for Children, as co-chair of the Practicing Law Institute's Children's Law Institute and  Contemporary Social Issues Advisory Committee at Columbia University School of Social Work.   She holds an MSW degree from Columbia University and a BA degree from Smith College.

Resources and Readings:

Lawyers’ Ethics in Interdisciplinary Collaboratives: Some Answers to Some Persistent Questions.  By Alexis Anderson, Lynn Barenberg, and Paul R. Tremblay

Reuniting families: Lawyers team up with social workers. WNYC News, December 22, 2009.

Sessions 8 - March 21, 2012
- The Rights of Birth Parents
Session #8 Handouts

Guest Speakers:  Michael Arsham, Executive Director, Tracey Carter and Teresa Marrero, Parent Organizers, The Child Welfare Organizing Project, New York City

Michael Arsham
Executive Director
Executive Director Michael Arsham is a social worker and a life-long New Yorker with over 30 years of child welfare experience. He served Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families (now known as the Harlem Children’s Zone) for thirteen years, staffing, developing, and directing Preventive Service programs in Central Harlem, Manhattan Valley, and Hell’s Kitchen. Mr. Arsham became Director of Social Service Policy for the New York State Council of Family and Child-Caring Agencies (COFCCA) in 1994. He represented Preventive Service providers throughout the city and state, and played a key role in organizing to avert massive proposed budget cuts to these services in 1994 and ’95. He was hired to direct CWOP in November 1998.

Tracey Carter

Parent Organizer Tracey Carter is a 2004 graduate of CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum. Tracey began work as a Highbridge Parent Organizer in July 2004. She is a Highbridge resident, mother of eleven children, and parent leader in the local public schools. She has extensive personal experience with the child welfare and related systems, including the Department of Homeless Services. Tracey is a co-chairperson of the Delegate Agency Policy Committee at Mid-Bronx Headstart, where she also volunteers as a Teacher’s Assistant.

Teresa Marrero

Parent Organizer Teresa Marrero was born and raised in Highbridge. As a young mother of two, she had the experience of using Preventive Services to avert the foster care placement of her children, graduating from the New York Foundling Pathway program in 2003. Teresa graduated our second Highbridge Parent Leadership Curriculum in June 2006. Teresa staffs Child Safety Conferences for East Harlem families.

Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapter 8.

“Love is not written in a court order” by Tracey Carter
“Standing up for my son” by Carlos Boyet
“Searching for answers” by Anna Jones
“Whatever it takes: Strategies for preventing youth disconnection” by Teresa Marrero

From the Courthouse to the Statehouse: Parents as Partners in Child Welfare. Diane Boyd Rauber (pdf): Describes several models including the Child Welfare Organizing Project

Reinstating parental rights: Another path to permanency? Susan Getman and Steven Christian. (pdf)

The rights of unmarried fathers.  Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Session 9 - March 28, 2012
- The Rights of Children and Youth
Session #9 Handout

Guest Presenters:
Amy Chou
Program Manager, New Yorkers for Children Young Adult Members, Youth Advisory Board, New Yorkers for Children

Brentin Brown
Youth Advisory Board Member

Kadidjia Adula
2010 Spirit Award Recipient

Martin Jack
2009 Spirit Award Runner Up

Guest Speakers Bios:
Amy Chou
Brentin Brown & Kadidjia Adula
Martin Jack

Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapter 10.

The Future of Foster Care: A Revolution for Change.  “Save a life: Early childhood education and foster youth. By Kadidjia Adula

Handbook for Youth in Foster Care (New York)

“Doing time in the waiting room”  by Alene Taylor.

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act of 2008: Education Provisions


Session 10 - April 4, 2012
- The Rights of Foster Parents
Session #10 Handout

Guest Speaker: 
Sarah Gerstenzang, MSW, Executive Director, The New York State Citizens Coalition for Children, New York, NY

Sarah Gerstenzang is the Executive Director of NYSCCC, an organization that provides information, support and advocacy for NYS foster and adoptive parents.  She was formerly Associate Project Director of the Collaboration to AdoptUsKids and a Senior Policy Analyst at Children’s Rights.  Ms. Gerstenzang holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University.  Her child welfare policy and practice experience includes research and publication on a range of foster care and adoption issues as well as presentations at national and international conferences.  Her most recent book is Another Mother: Co-parenting with the Foster Care System.  She is President of the Adoption Action Network board, a board member of Listening to Parents and Fostering Families Today magazine.  Ms. Gerstenzang has been a foster and kinship parent and one of her three children was adopted from the New York City foster care system.  She and her husband also support three additional siblings from foster care.

Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapter 9.

New York State Citizens Coalition on Children


Session 11 - April 18, 2012
- Child Welfare and Immigration

Session #11 Handout

Session #11 PowerPoint - Child Welfare and Immigration

Resources and Readings:

Immigration and Refugees: The Intersection of Migration and Child Welfare

Fact Sheet: Immigration and Child Welfare.  Casey Family Programs.

The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare. Wendy Cervantes and Yali Lincoln.

Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System. Executive Summary.  Applied Research Center. 

New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Immigration and Language Guidelines for Child Welfare Staff (2d Edition).


April 25, 2012 COMMON DAY – NO CLASS

Session 12 - May 2, 2012
- The Courts’ Role in Child Welfare Reform/Termination of Parental Rights Issues

Session #12 Handout

Session #12 PowerPoint

Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapters 10, 12, and 13 and Appendix B.

At the Crossroads: Better Infrastructure, Too Few Results: A Decade of Child Welfare Reform in New York City. Executive Summary. (pp. 1-12).

Briefly review the following.   Please bring to class in hard copy or on your laptop. We will review together the elements of child welfare class action lawsuits using the Oklahoma litigation.

OPTIONAL READING (this is not required):  Structuring Litigation-Driven Child Welfare Reform for Success

Readings for Termination of Parental Rights

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

Termination of Parental Rights Cases (Child Welfare Organizing Project)

Termination of Parental Rights, 7th Judicial District, New York State

Premila Reddy Bio


Session 13 - May 9, 2012
- Child Welfare: Issues of Race, Social Class, Sexual/Gender Orientation, and Disability

Session #13 Handout

Session #13 PowerPoint

Resources and Readings:

Stein, T.J. (2007).  Child welfare and the law.  Washington, DC: CWLA.  Introduction, Chapter 6.

The rights of pregnant and parenting teens: A guide to the law in New York State. Teens in Foster Care. Pages 61-68.

Foster children and the IDEA: The Fox Guarding the Henhouse. Rebekah A. Gleason.  Pages 11-26.

National Association of Social Workers. Interethnic Adoption Provisions of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-188)

Tribal Law and Policy Institute. The Indian Child Welfare Act Summary.

LGBTQ Youth in the Foster Care System. National Center for Lesbian Rights.


Student Presentations - May 16


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