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April 2005Vol. 6, No. 3The Intricacies of Foster Care Law

Social service professionals, attorneys, students, child advocates, parents, and even judges will find a wealth of information about the legal process surrounding foster care in Foster Care Law: A Primer. Written by two attorneys with substantial experience in child welfare and foster care, the book includes chapters on each group involved in foster care (foster children, foster parents, biological parents, public agencies, and private agencies), detailing their rights, their relationships with each other, and significant legal issues that may affect each group. A final chapter on the court process describes the roles of the participants, the different types of hearings, the extent of judicial power, and the appeal process. A typical case is described to illustrate the timing of some of the events, as well as the possible outcomes.

The book also includes a number of useful appendixes for those doing research, addressing such topics as:

  • Liability for different parties
  • A flow chart illustrating how children enter and exit foster care
  • Guidance on how to look up a legal case
  • The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997
  • Useful publications, laws, and websites

Foster Care Law: A Primer, by H. Schweitzer and J. Larsen, is published by and available from Carolina Academic Press at