January 2002Vol. 3, No. 1Representing Children in Child Protective Proceedings: Ethical and Practical Dimensions
For children in the child protection system, it may be easy to view lawyers as just another professional who is making their life decisions for them. The author examines the relationship between lawyers and the children they represent, noting the particular paradoxes that arise between the practice of law and the needs of children. The central premise is that children often may become lost in the powerful systems surrounding them and providing their care, and the lawyer's job is to prevent both social systems, and himself, from missing the child in the middle of the adult dynamics that shape his life. Both the child's and the legal counsel's perspectives are described on several aspects of representation, including the lawyer's role, the attorney-child relationship, ethical and practical considerations, decision making, cross-cultural considerations, and interdisciplinary guidelines. Appendices include historical research, interdisciplinary materials, and resources.
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