Lawyers and Child Protection

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Tiffany Roper /(512) 320-0222

January 22, 2007

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For years, many have complained about the quality of legal representation in child protection cases. In 2005, the Texas legislature addressed these longtime criticisms through Senate Bill 6 (SB 6), which reformed many aspects of the child welfare system, including representation of children and parents. Much remains to be done, however. The good news is that unlike many challenges facing the state, it is possible to significantly strengthen legal representation in child protection cases in a short period with limited funds. This policy brief provides an overview of the issues, discusses the new provisions of Senate Bill 6, and recommends additional ways to make representation more effective for DFPS, parents, and children.