There are 442,995 children in contact with child welfare systems in the U.S. today (HHS, 2018). While some children represented in this statistic were victims of abuse, such as physical (12%) or sexual abuse (4%), many of these children and their families come to the attention of child protection authorities because of neglect (62%), meaning that their parents/caregivers lack adequate resources to properly provide and care for their dependent children (HHS, 2018). For some families, involvement with child protection authorities means being separated–with children placed in foster care and parents working through the court-mandated requirements in order to be reunified with their children. For other families, children are allowed to stay at home while their parents work through these requirements under supervision of authorities. In neither case are parents involved with Indiana’s Department of Child Services (DCS) given a “how to” guide for successfully navigating this process–the amount of guidance given to parents varies drastically based on the caseworker, judge, service providers, and public defenders assigned to their case. The goal of this paper is to describe a pilot effort to provide empirically sound “self-advocacy resource kits” to parents in the child welfare system in one Indiana county, in partnership with the organization that aims to advocate for the best interests of children at the center of these cases–Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
"Helping Parents Navigate the Child Welfare System: Partnering with CASA to Create Self-Advocacy Resource Kits,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 6
, Article 12.
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol6/iss1/12