June 20, 2006

For foster care / dependency/ child protection p.d.'s

At the moment I'm listening to a pretty good edition of NPR's "Justice Talking" , titled "Foster Care: Broken Families, Broken Systems". It's available as an MP3 or a Windows Media stream.

Right now Richard Wexler is speaking. He's a reporter and director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR). Wexler is saying that the one of the best things you can do to reform the system is to improve the court-appointed counsel available to birth parents. True that. Unfortunately, he's illustrating his point by perpetuating the spectre of "some overwhelmed public defender who has absolutely no chance against the state."

Overwhelmed maybe, but when I did do child protection defense, and when my client was doing well and the stars were aligned, I did win a few against the state. It's not a hopeless practice, and the victories are sweet. Dependency p.d.'s everywhere, hang in there.

(now I'm listening to an interview with a mom who eventually got her son back - good stuff)

Bonus links: what do you know, Richard Wexler has a blog. His organization also insists that "hysteria over methamphetamine has become the latest excuse to “take the child and run”:"

(T)he biggest addiction problem in child welfare is neither meth nor crack nor any other drug. The biggest addiction problem in child welfare is great big, prestigious, mainstream private child welfare agencies with blue-chip boards of directors that are addicted to their per diem payments for holding children in foster care...

That sound you hear is axes grinding. It'll be comforting I'm sure to my previous meth-addicted client moms.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a Parent Advocate in Alaska looking for legal help for a family. It seems Attroney's are not willing to "take on OCS". This family is in desperate need to have their children home it has been almost 5 hundred days since they were taken for false allegations.
email address is melissa@akattachment.org
Thank you in advance !