Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys


A new publication, Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys, is now available in hardcopy! An online version of the Guide containing additional appendices with expanded definitions and examples of some key concepts is also now available by clicking the link below.

This Guide is a collaboration of the National Resource Center for Child Protective Services and the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues. The Guide is written primarily for judges, but anyone in the legal community who participates in the child safety decision making process should find the content useful.

This Guide does not contain a “model” for child safety decision making. Rather, it uses a framework that centers on the logical steps of decision making, emphasizing the need for a sequential process that is grounded in principles of critical thinking and rigorous and precise analysis.

All or portions of the Guide can be used to foster more constructive discussion between Child Welfare and the legal community, with the goal of reaching more meaningful solutions and greater innovation when making child safety decisions. You may feel compelled to revisit your own child safety decision making model’s framework for reassurance that it is sufficiently rigorous and adheres to the principles contained in the Guide.

Technical assistance is available regarding this Guide and how you might wish to use it in your legal community. For TA requests, contact either the National Resource Center for Child Protective Services or the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues, or both Resource Centers can collaborate with you.

Regarding the hardcopy and the online versions:

Hardcopy – The Guide is spiral-bound, and contains loose, laminated “benchcards” for easy use by judges. You may order copies of the hardcopy Guide by calling the ABA Service Center: 1-800-285-2221
The product code number is 549-0446, the price is $21.99.

Online – The online version of the Guide contains the hardcopy’s material but without the “benchcards.” The online version contains additional appendices with definitions and examples of safety threats, protective capacities and conditions for return. The online version is downloadable, and you may print and copy it by including all appropriate citations of the source material. If you have a hardcopy Guide, you may wish to print out the additional appendices from the online version to supplement the hardcopy material.