This seminar for writing credit examines issues about child abuse and child protection statutes. It will focus on national issues being debated in various aspects of child protection law, including governmental responsibility as well as liability for intervention in families, class action litigation on behalf of foster children, child advocacy, role of the attorney Ad litem, family preservation, foster care retention, the rights of parents and children, the duty to report, false allegations of abuse, child witnesses, permanency for children and adoption related issues, etc.
The semester will be divided in thirds. The first segment will be lectures, choosing a topic, and drafting an outline for the paper. In the second segment, class will not formally meet for a few weeks but students will be required to meet with the instructor in order to commit to a topic for the papers and students will work on their papers. The third segment will contain formal presentations and defense of papers. Students will be required to write a twenty-five to thirty page paper. Each student will also be responsible for oral and written critiques of other students' papers. All students will be required to meet periodically with the instructor throughout the semester to assess progress.
Grades will be based on 1) outline and first draft of paper, 2) class participation, 3) in-class presentation of paper, 4) critique of another student's paper, and 5) 25-30 page paper.