Providing Quality Representation for Abused and Neglected Children

Back • Publication Date: April 3rd, 2008

Authors: Rafael Mejia and Shelley Geballe, J.D., M.P.H.

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Connecticut must ensure that the well being of its most vulnerable children is safeguarded and that their wishes are heard when plans are made about their futures. The state can accomplish both goals by improving the quality of legal representation in child abuse and neglect proceedings and by ensuring that older children and youth are involved, in an age-appropriate manner, in all Department of Children and Families meetings and court hearings about them. Despite recent improvements, Connecticut’s system of legal representation in child protection proceedings falls short of providing high quality legal representation to all the children. This brief makes recommendations for improving the quality of this representation.