October 2018
NACC Presents at the Juvenile Justice Journalist Conference

NACC’s Executive Director Kim Dvorchak was invited to present at the journalist conference Unfinished Business: Juveniles and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, sponsored by the Tow Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Ms. Dvorchak joined a panel this month with Marsha Levick, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the Juvenile Law Center, and Michael Harris, Senior Director of Legal Advocacy and Juvenile Justice of the National Center for Youth Law, where she discussed her work reducing the prosecution of youth as adults in Colorado. She also shared her observations on the perceptions of children and youth depending upon in which system – criminal, delinquency, dependency - their case is adjudicated, urging “we must ensure fair, equitable, and developmentally appropriate treatment for all children.”
NACC Presents Testimony to the New York State Commission on Parental Legal Representation

The National Association of Counsel for Children presented testimony this month to the Commission on Parental Legal Representation in Albany, New York.  Executive Director Kim Dvorchak praised the commission for its mission to study and ensure quality legal representation for parents, emphasizing NACC’s belief that the best possible outcomes in the child welfare system are achieved when all parties have access to high-quality, well-trained, independent legal counsel. NACC discussed its Child Welfare Law Specialist  (CWLS) certification, the importance of institutionalizing standards of practice and caseload limits, and recommended a system of statewide oversight and funding. Click  here to read NACC’s written testimony to the Commission.

Early registration is  now open for the 42nd National Child Welfare Law Conference and pre-conference Red Book Training!  Register now and save $100!

The conference will be held August 26 - 28, 2019 at the  Anaheim Marriott Hotel and a full-day pre-conference Red Book Training will be held on August 25, 2019.

More details to come.

NACC-Loyola University of Chicago School of Law Symposium
Join us  Friday, November 9, 1:00pm-5:00pm , for a Symposium at the Ceremonial Courtroom of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 25 East Pearson Street, in partnership with the Civitas Child Law Center and the Children’s Legal Rights Journal in honor of NACC’s 40th Anniversary. The Symposium will be followed by a reception with cheese, antipasto, beer, and wine.   

Speakers include: 
  • Don Duquette, Former Professor of Michigan Law School, Former Director of the National Quality Improvement Center on Children’s Representation, Former NACC Board Member, and Red Book Editor 
  • Marty Guggenheim, Fiorello LaGuardia Professor of Clinical Law, New York University Law School 
  • Erik Pitchal, Brooklyn Family Court Judge, NACC Board Member 
  • Leslie Starr Heimov, Executive Director, Children’s Law Center of California 
The Tremont Hotel  of the Magnificent Mile is offering a special rate of $99/night for this event and throughout Veteran's Day weekend.  Contact Bev Tautalatasi , Tremont Sales Manager, at 203.536.0060 and indicate you are seeking a room within the NACC/Loyola University Chicago room block.

Announcing the Spring and Fall 2019 Red Book Training Courses

NACC’s new online Red Book Training Course is designed to assist you in preparing for the Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS) examination. It can also serve as an overall review of dependency competency areas. The course will consist of seven webinars delivered over a period of 13 weeks.

NACC’s Spring Course begins Wednesday, March 13, 2019 . All sessions begin at 12pm Mountain Standard Time.

NACC’s staff is ready to assist in registering a group for the course, ordering hard copies of the Red Book, and/or coordinating a cohort to become certified as CWLS. Please contact Daniel Trujillo , NACC Certification Director, for group registrations, additional information about the course, or CWLS certification.


The NACC is offering all Bronze, Silver, and Gold members the opportunity to renew or extend their membership for one year at a  40%  discount. 

Whether their membership expires this month or next year, we will add 12 months of membership during our  40 for 40   Celebration!

This is also a great time for members to elevate their membership level to Silver or Gold and receive the 3 rd  edition of NACC’s  Child Welfare Law & Practice (aka  T he Red Book ) - an incredible value!

And the promotion is for everyone! The NACC is also offering new and former members this  40%  discount on membership. 
Congratulations to our Newest Certified Child Welfare Law Specialists!
Elizabeth Ferrin, JD, CWLS
Utah Office of the Guardian ad Litem
Logan, UT

Donald Lee, JD, CWLS
Gwinnett County Juvenile Court
Lawrenceville, GA

Stacey Pinckney, JD, CWLS
Office of the Child Attorney
Atlanta, GA

Madeline Reed, JD, CWLS
Children's Law Project of Hawai'i
Kamuela, HI

Mary Shea, JD, CWLS
Merrill and Merrill, Chartered
Pocatello, ID

Emily Torres, JD, CWLS
San Diego County Counsel
San Diego, CA

Joshua Wickard, JD, CWLS
Ada County Public Defender's Office
Boise, ID
NACC Updates

  • The NACC Every Kid Needs a Family workgroup is looking at various licensing requirements for family placements.  If you live and work in a state which you think has a good system for allowing children to be placed with relatives that is not overly burdensome and/or arbitrary we would love to hear from you about what your state is doing. 

  • NACC signed on to an amicus brief in the case Fulton v. City of Philadelphia in support of the Appellee City of Philadelphia. The case was filed by Catholic Social Services (“CSS”), which has a contract with the City to screen, train, and certify foster parents (in addition to providing case management and other services to children in the child welfare system), and three appellant foster parents. Earlier this year, the City learned that CSS would not certify same-sex couples as foster parents due to CSS’s religious beliefs, a violation of both CSS’s contract to provide foster care services and the City’s Fair Practice Ordinance. In March, the City notified CSS it would no longer refer children if they continued to violate their contract and refuse to license same-sex couples. CSS refused to comply and the City stopped intake of new placements of children into CSS’s care. As a result, CSS sued the City alleging violations of the State’s Religious Freedom Protection Act; the First Amendment’s Free Exercise, Establishment, and Free Speech Clauses; and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. In its complaint, CSS requested that the court issue preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting the City from canceling CSS’s contract to provide foster care services and ordering them to reopen intake. In July, Judge Tucker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied CSS’s request for an injunction, finding that the City did not violate CSS’s religious freedom because the City’s nondiscrimination ordinance was generally applicable and not targeted at a particular religion. CSS appealed to the 3rd Circuit, which is where the case is pending.  Stay tuned for updates.

  • In the Matter of the Dependency of SK-P, in which NACC signed on to an amicus brief arguing that children in dependency cases have a constitutional right to counsel, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the current statute regarding appointment of counsel for children in dependency proceedings sufficiently protects their constitutional rights, as long as trial courts affirmatively assess in every case whether to appoint counsel, based on specific criteria set out in the opinion. In a fractured decision comprised of four separate opinions, the majority rejected the argument that all children in foster care proceedings have a constitutional right to counsel.
National Association of Counsel for Children | www.NACCchildlaw.org