General resources on laws and legal issues relevant for out-of-home care, including State and local examples.
ABA Center on Children and the Law
Seeks to improve the laws, policies, and judicial procedures affecting children.
A Child's Journey Through the Child Welfare System
Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care (2005)
In Child Welfare Law and Practice: Representing Children, Parents, and State Agencies in Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Cases
Intended for child welfare attorneys, this chapter highlights typical decision points on a child's journey through foster care.
Foster Care Law: A Primer
Schweitzer & Larsen (2004)
Reviews the legal aspects of foster care from the perspectives of the foster child, foster parents, birth parents, public agencies, private agencies, and the court system.
Fostering the Future: Safety, Permanence and Well-Being for Children in Foster Care (PDF - 263 KB)
The Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care (2004)
Findings from a comprehensive assessment of two key aspects of the foster care system: the Federal financing structure and the court system. Includes recommendations for reform in these areas.
National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues
Provides expertise to State and tribal agencies and courts on legal and judicial aspects of child welfare related to achieving safety, permanence, and well-being for abused and neglected children through improved laws and judicial decision-making.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Works to improve the court system's handling of juvenile and family matters.
View From the Bench: Obstacles to Safety and Permanency for Children in Foster Care: Summary of Key Findings From a National Survey of Dependency Court Judges (PDF - 311 KB)
Fostering Results (2004)
Judges who hear child dependency cases describe common barriers to permanency, including overloaded court dockets, a chronic shortage of available services for families, and poorly prepared caseworkers.
Avoiding the Mistakes of Terrell R.: The Undoing of the California Tort Claims Act and the Move to Absolute Governmental Immunity in Foster Care Placement and Supervision
Stanford Law & Policy Review, 15(1), 2004
Addresses the issue of governmental immunity and mandatory duty liability in the context of foster child abuse.
The Legal System and What to Do When Your Child Is in Foster Care: Guidebook for Parents
Cook County Circuit Court (1999)
Guide for parents involved in the Child Protection Division of the Cook County, Illinois, Juvenile Court explains court processes and outlines the rights and responsibilities of parents of children living in foster care.