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Elizabeth Thornton & Betsy Gwin, High-Quality Legal Representation for Parents in Child Welfare Cases Results in Improved Outcomes for Families and Potential Cost Savings, 46 Fam. L.Q. 139 (2012).

Abstract: This article outlines the improved outcomes for children and families associated with high-quality legal representation for parents in child welfare cases. It documents the cost savings demonstrated by three regional high-quality parent-representation programs (in New York City, Detroit, and Washington State) and explores their potential for tremendous savings. Section II describes these three programs and the effects they have had on child welfare outcomes in each region. Section III discusses the human and financial costs associated with placing children in foster care and the improved outcomes achieved by these programs. Section IV provides recommendations for expanding and evaluating parent-representation programs and their impact on child welfare outcomes and budgets.