Advanced Issues in the Law of Foster Care
This seminar, first offered in the Fall of 2003, explores the legal underpinnings, the judicial procedures, and the factual realities of the foster care system in the United States. The course will help students to understand the forces that shape the lives of at-risk children who are removed from their homes.
Using legal, economic and sociological tools of analysis, the course examines the history of the child welfare system, its current crisis and efforts by both legislators and independent organizations to reform it.
Students are required to prepare a paper on a controversial issue involving the legal treatment of, or government policy towards, children in the dependency system.
During the first half of the semester, students explore the substantive legal issues surrounding the foster care process. The latter half is devoted to student presentations.
Past paper topics have included the right of foster children to maintain their racial, cultural, and ethnic identities, the privatization of foster care, the use of mediation in child welfare cases, the standardization of foster parent training and licensing, and domestic violence and foster care.