Advocating for Nonresident Fathers in Child Welfare Court Cases.

Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Cohen, Andrew L.
Cozzola, Richard.
Creamer, Kathleen.
Edwards, Leonard P.
Hatcher, Daniel L.
Kiselica, Mark S.
Renne, Jennifer L.
Sankaran, Vivek S.
Soprych, Andrya L.
Author (Organization)
ABA Center on Children and the Law.
National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System.
Resource Type
Resource Format
Resource Language
Each chapter of this book is written by an expert in the field and gives you the tools to successfully incorporate fathers into child welfare cases. Chapter 1: Vivek Sankaran writes about Supreme Court precedent on this issue and how different states have interpreted it, while providing tips to lawyers on preserving fathers' rights. Chapter 2: Mark Kiselica explores how to establish a good working relationship with father clients and how to make men feel comfortable engaging in the child welfare system. Chapter 3: Richard Cozzola and Andrya Soprych detail how to advocate for father clients outside of court. The authors provide guidance on how to advocate for and counsel a father through agency case staffings to obtain needed assistance and develop and achieve case goals. Chapter 4: Andrew Cohen looks at how to help a father realize his goals through the court process. He shares strategies to use at adjudication, permanency hearings, and termination of parental rights hearings to help fathers maintain regular contact with their children. Chapter 5: Judge Leonard Edwards discusses how judges can better engage fathers at all stages of a child welfare case. He details effective engagement strategies and offers sample courtroom dialogues and court orders to foster engagement. Chapter 6: Andrew Cohen discusses how to address special issues that may interfere with a father's involvement in his child's case, including domestic violence, substance abuse, immigration issues, and mental health problems. Chapter 7: Daniel Hatcher shares strategies to ensure fathers' child support obligations do not prevent or scare them away from meaningfully engaging with their child and the child's court case. Chapter 8: Kathleen Creamer offers guidance on representing incarcerated fathers and explains how to help them maintain relationships with their children and participate in court proceedings, even if they can't attend in person. Chapter 9: Jennifer Renne describes common ethical dilemmas for lawyers representing nonresident fathers in child welfare proceedings. She also discusses potential conflicts of interest when representing multiple fathers and what it means to diligently and zealously represent a father. Complimenting these chapters are: Chapter checklists highlighting key practice strategies for each chapter; Shaine's story describing a nonresident father's struggle to gain custody of his child through child welfare proceedings; Sample questions and a lawyer's checklist to assess whether a father has established a constitutionally protected relationship with his child; Interstate placement guidance when the father lives out of state; First meeting tips offering guidance to lawyers when meeting a father for the first time; and Ten tips for working with your lawyer, a handout to give father clients to foster the lawyer-client relationship. (Author abstract modified)

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