Free Legal Resources
Organizations that provide information on child welfare legal issues for legal, court, and agency professionals serving children and families. If you are aware of any others, please contact us at email@example.com. Inclusion on this list is for information purposes and does not constitute an endorsement usalawyer.org.
To search for child-welfare related national organizations by topic, use the Related Organizations Search at http://www.childwelfare.gov/organizations/search.cfm.
ABA Center on Children and the Law
The ABA Center on Children and the Law seeks to improve the laws, policies, and judicial procedures affecting children by supporting legal representation for youth, facilitating coordination between attorneys and caseworkers, reducing court delays, and providing training to court professionals involved in child welfare.
- National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues –http://www.abanet.org/child/rclji/home.html
- Grandfamilies State Law & Policy Resource Center – http://grandfamilies.org/
- Center for Professional Responsibility –http://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility.html
American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA)
Phone: (202) 832-2222
The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) is a national membership association of attorneys who practice, or have otherwise distinguished themselves, in the field of adoption law. AAAA works to promote the reform of adoption laws and to disseminate information on ethical adoption practices. Their Membership Directory, including members from the U. S. and Canada, lists attorneys who are well versed in the complexities of adoption law as well as interstate and international regulations regarding adoption.
American Adoption Congress (AAC)
American Bar Association (ABA)
General Scope: The ABA provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public. ABA publications include a “Consumer’s Guide to Legal Help,” with lawyer and pro bono attorney locator services.
- ABA Section of Family Law – http://www.abanet.org/family/home.html
- Standards of Practice for Attorneys…. – http://www.abanet.org/child/clp/ParentStds.pdf
American Bar Association Family Law Section
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
The Center for Law and Social Policy’s work is concentrated on family policy and access to civil legal assistance for low-income families. Family policy projects include welfare reform, child welfare, and couples and marriage.
- Child Welfare – http://www.clasp.org/issues?type=child_welfare
- Youth – http://www.clasp.org/issues?type=youth
Child Welfare Information Gateway
A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to programs, research, laws and policies, training resources, statistics, and much more.
Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center
The Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center serves as a national legal resource created to educate individuals about State laws and legislation in support of grandfamilies and to assist interested State legislators, advocates, caregivers, attorneys, and other policymakers in exploring policy options to support relatives and the children in their care both within and outside the child welfare system.
The Resource Center is a collaboration between Casey Family Programs, the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, and Generations United.
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Adoption-related publications are available.
Lawyers for Children America (LFCA)
Lawyers for Children America (LFCA) is an advocacy organization that protects the rights of children who are victims of abuse, abandonment, and neglect by providing pro bono legal representation and collaborating for systemic change to improve the lives of children.
Legal Center for Foster Care & Education
The Legal Center for Foster Care & Education (Legal Center FCE) serves as a national technical assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children in the foster care system. The Legal Center FCE provides expertise to States and constituents, facilitates networking to advance promising practices and reforms, and provides technical assistance and training to respond to the ever-growing demands for legal support and guidance.
The Legal Center FCE is a collaboration between Casey Family Programs and the ABA Center on Children and the Law, in conjunction with the Education Law Center-PA and the Juvenile Law Center.
Legal Information Institute (LII)
The Legal Information Institute (LII) is a research and electronic publishing activity of the Cornell Law School. The Institute publishes electronic versions of core materials in numerous areas of the law both online and packaged for download.
The LII provides Federal and State information involving Adoption, Child Custody, and other Family Law topics. This includes links to full-text laws.
National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC)
The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) works to improve the legal protection and representation of children by training and educating child advocates and by effecting policy and legal systems change. The NACC sponsors conferences and seminars on important issues confronting child advocates and files amicus curiae briefs in selected court cases affecting children. The Association also has a legislative agenda, a national child advocate awards program, and a speakers bureau.
National Center for Adoption Law and Policy (NCALP)
The mission of the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy, at Capital University Law School, is to improve the law, policies, and practices associated with child protection and adoption systems.
- Adoption and Child Welfare LawSite – http://www.adoptionlawsite.com/
National Center for Juvenile Justice
The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) is the research division of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). NCJJ is a resource for independent and original research on topics related directly and indirectly to the field of juvenile justice.
National Council of Birthmothers (NCOB)
The National Council of Birthmothers supports the rights and interests of birth mothers in adoption issues, especially those involving the rights of adult adopted persons. The Council asserts that it is the right of all people to have an unaltered official birth record, regardless of adoption status.
National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA)
General Scope: The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA), and a network of over 1,000 local community program offices, support volunteers serving children. The mission of the National CASA, together with its State and local members, is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. The role of local CASA programs is to recruit, train and support volunteers in their work with abused children.