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June 2020Vol. 21, No. 5Court Improvement Program Talks Highlight Partnerships to Prevent Removals and Expedite Reunificatio

Court Improvement Program (CIP) Talks, which are presented by the National Center for State Courts, with support from the Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for Courts, highlight how the legal community can develop coordinated strategies with partners to better serve vulnerable families and help improve child welfare outcomes.

A recent CIP Talk featured Kathleen Creamer, managing attorney in the Family Advocacy Unit within Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. The talk, "Why Multi-Disciplinary Parent Representation Is Beneficial to All," focuses on the value of having a team approach to parent representation in which attorneys partner with social workers and peer advocates with lived experience with the child welfare system to help parents reunify safely with their children.

Another recent CIP Talk, "How Attorneys and Judges Can Help Reduce the Need for Foster Care and Family Separation," featured Christopher Church, an attorney with the University of South Carolina School of Law. Church discussed trends in child removal that emphasize the important role the legal system has in preventing unnecessary removals and keeping families safely together. He discussed two high-profile cases of children being unjustly removed from their homes and provided steps agencies can take to make justifiable and sound decisions about removing children and placing them in foster care.

To view these and other CIP Talks, visit the National Center for State Courts website.