This article describes three parent-representation programs: New York City’s Center for Family Representation; Detroit’s Center for Family Advocacy; and Washington State’s Office of Public Defense Parent Representation Program. The article also provides recommendations for evaluating and expanding programs like these.
Final Report of the Impact of Legal Representation on Child Custody Decisions Among Families with a History of Intimate Partner Violence Study
This study tested whether legal representation of DV victim in child custody decisions leads to greater protections and visitation decisions when compared to those who are not represented. When individuals had legal representation, in comparison to those who did not have legal representation but who qualified for legal aid, the DV victim was 85 percent more likely to have denied visitation to the abusing parent and 77 percent more likely to have restrictions placed on the abusing parent’s visitation (if granted at all).
Exploring Outcomes Related to Legal Representation for Parents Involved in Mississippi’s Juvenile Dependency System, Preliminary Findings
This is a preliminary report on the effect legal representation has on parents involved in Mississippi’s juvenile dependency system. Providing legal representation to parents in the juvenile dependency system is found to improve outcomes for children (p. 3). The results described in this report are descriptive. They also find that providing legal representation to parents in juvenile dependency cases increases the likelihood the parents themselves attend court.
This study finds that parents who obtain legal representation in child welfare cases are more likely to have their children returned to them. And, if the father is present, this likelihood increases further.
Waller and Plotnick perform a content analysis on qualitative research that studied how low-income parents interact with the child support system. They find that low-income parents prefer informal arrangements of child support over formal ones and do not comply with the support orders if they perceive them to be unfair, counterproductive, or punitive.
Comprehensive Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking: Findings From Clients in Three Communities
Researchers at the Urban Institute conducted interviews with survivors of human trafficking and social service providers. They find a large unmet need for legal services.
In this article, Theo Liebman and Lauris Wren, take stock of the landscape of the intersection between immigration and family law. They present what we know about immigration and family court, what we need to know, and implications for family lawyers and judges.
Reunification and Case Resolution Improvements in Office of Public Defense (OPD) Parents Representation Program Counties
By: Washington State Office of Public Defense. Published in: February 2010 Link to report Link to PDF This study finds that when parents have legal representation in child welfare proceedings, rates of reunification were higher. Highlights include: They examined “every… Read More ›
This article analyzes the lack of focus on immigrants in family court and the collateral consequences that immigrants can experience from attending family court. Liebmann also finds that most family court judges and lawyers do not know about the implications for immigrants in family court.
Older African American Women and Barriers to Reporting Domestic Violence to Law Enforcement in the Rural Deep South
The main reasons for not going to law enforcement when experiencing abuse was fear of being stigmatized by their church, family, and community. The researchers reviewed data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System and conducted fieldwork in four rural counties in the Black Belt of Alabama. They find that when women feel more independent, which can be furthered by legal services such as assisting with benefits and outreach, they were more likely to come forward to seek out law enforcement.