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Counsel for Kids: Victories, Trends, and Challenges

July 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm MDT


Children in foster care are separated from their families and subject to life-altering decisions made by judges.  A specially trained lawyer is necessary to protect their legal rights and ensure their voices are heard.  In 13 states children are not appointed lawyers to represent them in court, leaving them to navigate the complexities of the child protection process alone. Expanding access to legal counsel for children and youth in care is trending among state legislatures. Still, advocates must work to overcome challenges raised related to attorney shortages, limited funding, and youth capacity to participate in their representation. 


In this session, NACC’s Policy Counsel Natalece Washington will highlight Counsel for Kids advocacy victories, trends, and challenges and explore recent state legislative activity that would expand the right to counsel, common elements of successful state policy campaigns, and policymaker’s frequently asked questions. Bipartisan Policy Center Fellow, Rob Geen, will discuss bipartisan collaboration as a key strategy to successful policy development.  Geen will also review our nation’s history of broad bipartisan consensus on major child protection system policy changes and share the latest on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Child Welfare Initiative.   



Natalece Washington, NACC Policy Counsel

Rob Geen, Bipartisan Policy Center Fellow


California (60-minute hour) 

This participatory activity has been accredited by the State Bar of California for a maximum of 1.5 hours of General credit. Live and on-demand viewing are both participatory activities since NACC confirms duration of attendance. Attorneys must sign in for CLE. Credits will be reported within 60 days of participation.  

Colorado (50‐minute hour) 

This course is accredited by the Colorado Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education for a maximum of 1.8 units of General credit. Attorneys must sign in for CLE. Colorado is a self-report state. 

Attorneys in all other jurisdictions must seek CLE accreditation individually if desired. 




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