This writing seminar will focus on the substantive and procedural legal issues which relate to the protection of children. The first six classes of the seminar will provide an overview of child protection issues. The first class will include a presentation on child abuse by a guest speaker from the Austin Police Department and some class discussion based on the first class readings having to do with some general issues regarding the role of law enforcement and the civil child protection system. The remaining five classes will cover more specific issues in the child protection field such as: the duty to report child abuse, the removal of children from their homes, termination of parental rights, systemic problems within the foster care system, the right of children and their parents in child protection proceedings, and the criminal prosecution of child abuse. The readings for the first six classes can be obtained on line or they are posted on the seminar's blackboard. Students are expected to read and be prepared to discuss the assigned readings in class. Any changes in the class schedule will be posted on the seminar's blackboard. (Occasionally, the professor is unavailable for class because of her trial schedule and a guest speaker will be covering for her. In such circumstances, it may be necessary to change the topic to be covered during that class in order to accommodate the area of expertise of the guest speaker.)
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.