Kin-First Courtrooms: Law & Policy

This Informational Memorandum provides best practices, resources, and recommendation for achieving permanency for children and youth in a way that prioritizes the child’s or youth’s wellbeing, including a continued focus on the importance of preserving family connections as a fundamental child welfare practice. The Children’s Bureau believes efforts to achieve permanency must include a safe and deliberate preservation of familial connections in order to successfully ensure positive outcomes.
ABA urges federal, state, local, territorial and tribal legislatures to enact and courts to enforce laws establishing a presumption of child presence in all dependency proceedings to ensure that legal decisions respect a child’s unique identity, their racial, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, sexual orientation and gender identified, and that a child can express their individual needs and interests and meaningfully engage in their plan.
This practice manual was designed to assist attorneys who practice or desire to practice in the court’s child abuse, neglect and dependency docket. It provides an introduction, the philosophy that underlies it and the specific hearing process of the Hamilton County Juvenile Court. “This manual is not intended to serve as an authoritative legal source, but rather, a resource to practitioners. See: Page 9 – “If the court determines that the child must be removed willing relatives may be available to take the child into their home. Placement with relatives often reduces the trauma to a child caused by removing a child from the home by allowing the child to live with a familiar person rather than a stranger.”

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