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March 2022Vol. 23, No. 2New Book Provides Strategies for Improving Legal Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System

A new book by the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System (QIC-ChildRep), Children's Justice: How to Improve Legal Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System, explores the lack of effective legal representation in child welfare cases.

The book highlights how the QIC-ChildRep's Best Practice Model of Child Representation improves the way lawyers represent children and leads to improved case outcomes for some children. It also details the QIC Best Practice Model and presents findings of a study on the model. The study took place over the course of 3 years and was based on data from 250 lawyers representing about 4,500 children.

In addition, the book also explores the following questions related to child representation:

  • Who should represent children, and what characteristics should they possess?
  • What duties should child advocates embrace, and what tasks should they prioritize?
  • How are children represented, and how can states develop and sustain child representation workforces? 
The book concludes with lessons learned from studying the QIC model and projections for the future of child representation in the child welfare system.