In October 2009, the U.S. Children’s Bureau named the University of Michigan Law School the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System (QIC-ChildRep).
The QIC-ChildRep is a six-year, multimillion dollar project to gather, develop and communicate knowledge on child representation, promote consensus on the role of the child’s legal representative, and provide one of the first empirically-based analysis of how legal representation for the child might best be delivered.
The core of the QIC-ChildRep is our empirical research. The QIC ChildRep Best Practice Model forms the foundation of our Research and Demonstration Projects in Georgia and Washington State. The foundation and our reasoning underlying the "Six Core Skills" of the QIC Best Practice Model is reflected in the Needs Assessment that we conducted in our first year and in the Spring 2012 FLQ Article.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago is the QIC-ChildRep evaluator. Our Research Design is the first-ever random assignment experimental research design on legal representation in child welfare cases. The research question is whether attorneys trained in the "Six Core Skills" of the QIC Best Practice Model improve child representation from its current practice, and, as a result, child welfare outcomes. We will gather data to March 2015 and report our findings shortly thereafter.
For advocates, policy makers, academics, and students we gathered all the knowledge and information we could find about representing children in the child welfare system. This website includes a summary of State Laws governing child representation - we have all 50 states’ laws organized by common themes that address the common questions around child representation. This website also includes all the Academic Articles and Evaluations of Child Representation we could find. (If you know of any we do not have, please let us know.) We are continuously posting additional information. The entire website and all the resources are searchable. We will share the details of the Six Core Skills in Fall 2014.
We hope the resources available here will assist the many of you who are working hard to improve the administration of justice for children.