Action Research publishes landmark study on parent representation in child welfare

Children spend significantly less time in foster care – with no compromise of safety – when their parents get interdisciplinary law office representation, according to a major new study published in Children and Youth Services Review by Action Research and the New York University School of Law. The study is the result of a three-year evaluation funded by Casey Family Programs. It is the largest study of parent representation in family court ever conducted, tracing the outcomes of nearly 10,000 families using cutting-edge statistical techniques. Lead author Luke Gerber commented, “This paper arrives at a pivotal moment where the federal government will now pay for legal representation for parents, and we hope these findings will encourage child welfare leaders across the nation to replicate NYC’s pioneering approach.” Co-author Yuk (Erica) Pang remarked, “In addition to our statistical analyses, I was grateful for the opportunity to interview parents, judges, attorneys, social workers, and other stakeholders involved in the NYC Family Court. We developed a better understanding parents’ needs and how we can better serve children and families in our communities.”

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