Policy Analysis Parent Legal Representation in Foster Care

Topics: Policy, Foster care, Lawyer Pages: 4 (1277 words) Published: November 12, 2013

Policy Analysis
Social Welfare Policy Development & Analysis

Enhancing the Quality of Parental Legal Representation Act of 2013 is a newly proposed policy that is currently being reviewed in the House committee on Ways and Means. This policy is designed to aid in resolving the issue of children being in foster care for longer periods than necessary by providing the parents involved in the child welfare system with proper quality legal representation. As this issue and policy are reviewed it is necessary to analyze the nature of the cause of the problem, what the policy intends to accomplish, the extent that the policy will address the need, the possible unintended effects of the policy, and potential recommendations that could be made with regard to the proposed policy.

It is the role of the state court to provide child welfare system and in ensuring safety, stability, and permanency for abused and neglected children under the supervision of that system. Parents involved with the child welfare system are not receiving adequately quality legal representation, therefore the children are remaining in foster care longer when not necessary costing the state more money in legal representation (Enhancing the Quality of Legal Representation Act of 2013).

Parents involved with the child welfare system are being legally represented by lawyers who are untrained in the field of child welfare therefore the parents are not receiving proper quality representation (Enhancing the Quality of Legal Representation Act of 2013). A study done by Courtney and Hook finds that adequate and quality legal representation for the parents makes for a more efficient court process, while potentially shortening the time children spend in foster care and the costs associated with additional days in care (2012). Another study found that it was not only the issue of quality legal representation, but also consistent legal representation. That...

References: Enhancing the Quality of Legal Representation Act of 2013. Retrieved from
Courtney, Mark E. & Hook, Jennifer L. (n.d). Evaluation of the impact of enhanced parental
legal representation on the timing of permanency outcomes for children in foster care. Children And Youth Services Review, 341337-1343. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.03.016
Masson, J. (2012). What are care proceedings really like?. Adoption & Fostering, 36(1), 5-12
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