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F. Scott McCown

F. Scott McCown

  • Clinical Professor
  • Director - Children's Rights Clinic

Faculty Profile: F. Scott McCown

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Biography

F. Scott McCown is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Children’s Rights Clinic. From 1989 to 2002, he presided over a state district court of general jurisdiction, hearing a broad range of civil cases, including many public interest cases such as the state’s public school finance litigation. By special assignment, Judge McCown also presided over a child protection docket. In 1999, Judge McCown’s Petition in Behalf of the Forsaken Children of Texas to the Governor and 76th Legislature resulted in significantly increased state appropriations for Child Protective Services. He was recognized for this work with the 1999 Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare by the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, an affiliate of the American Public Human Services Association, and the 2000 Leadership in Local Government Child Advocacy Award by the National Association of Child Advocates. He was also named the 2000 Texas CASA Judge of the Year.

McCown is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the American Law Institute.

The Austin Bar Association presented him with its 2013 Distinguished Lawyer Award. The Texas Law Review Association presented him with its 2017 Dean Leon Green Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the legal profession.

After retiring as a state district judge, McCown served as executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy institute working to address the challenges of low-income Texas children and families. In 2011 and 2005, while he was the center’s executive director, Texas Monthly named him to its list of the 25 most powerful people in Texas politics, calling him a “voice for the voiceless.” In 2007, the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin presented McCown with its Vision and Valor Award of Distinction for exemplary accomplishments in the promotion of social justice.

Before serving as a judge, McCown was a special assistant attorney general and chief of the Criminal Law Enforcement Division, an assistant professor of law at the U.T. School of Law, and an associate at Vinson & Elkins. McCown earned a B.S. cum laude (Psychology) in 1976 from Texas Christian University and a J.D. with Honors in 1979 from The University of Texas School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, the Order of Barristers, and the Editorial Board of the Texas Law Review.

Courses for Spring 2017

View Course History

Professional Activities

2017

February 14, 2017

Op Ed: Privatizing Child Protective Services would be bad for Texas

Dallas Morning News

February 13, 2017

Talk about Child Protective Services

Pastoral Leadership for Public Life, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

February 2, 2017

Invited Testimony Regarding Child Protective Services and SB 11

Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee

January 23, 2017

CLE on Lawyers in CPS System

Family Justice Conference, Texas Center for the Judiciary

2016

December 14, 2016

Moderated Panel on Deconstructing Decision-making

Beyond the Bench: Law, Justice, and Communities Summit

Professor McCown moderated a panel on deconstructing decision-making at the Beyond the Bench: Law, Justice, and Communities Summit hosted by the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals at Paul Quinn College in Dallas. The panel explored recognizing and combating implicit bias in the justice system.

December 6, 2016

Report of the Texas Commission to Expand Legal Services

Texas Supreme Court Commission

The 19-member Texas Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services, appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, has proposed seven recommendations to expand civil legal services for “modest-means” clients in Texas, including specific ways to direct those disqualified for free legal-aid help to organizations and lawyers willing to serve them. Professor McCown served on the commission.

November 16, 2016

Invited Testimony regarding Child Protective Services

Texas House County Affairs Committee

November 14, 2016

Facilitated Docketing Roundtable

CPS Judges and Coordinators Meeting

November 14, 2016

Presented on Domestic Violence and Child Safety

2016 Child Welfare Conference hosted by Texas Center for Judiciary

August 23, 2016

Speaker and Panelist: Effective Representation of Children and Aged-Out Foster Youth: Beyond the Basics

State Bar CLE

Sponsored by the Children's Commission

August 15, 2016

Into the Fold Podcast, Episode 27: Child Welfare in Texas

MH Daily, A Service of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

July 12, 2016

Invited Testimony on Interim Charges Related to CPS

Texas House Human Services Committee

May 20, 2016

Kids in Court Roundtable Discussion

Texas Supreme Court's Children's Commission

Served as facilitator.

April 12, 2016

Changes Need to be Made for CPS

Texas Perspectives - Op Ed

A widely published op ed that first appeared in the Dallas Morning News on the current problems at Child Protective Services and the need for action.

April 4, 2016

Child Protection Court Ad Litem Seminar

Child Protection Courts of South Texas, Hill Country, and South Central Texas

Moderated Foster Youth Panel and Presented on Ad Litem Representation.

March 3, 2016

Members Consultative Group

American Law Institute

Participated in discussion of Preliminary Draft No. 1 for Restatement - Children and the Law.

January 22, 2016

Domestic Violence Advocates and Child Advocates: How Can We Work Together?

Texas Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Presentation

2015

November 30, 2015

Texas Supreme Court Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services

Appointed by Texas Supreme Court to serve on Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services. The commission is charged with developing proposals to meet the demand for affordable legal services.

November 30, 2015

Working Group on Enrolling Former Foster Youth in Medicaid

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Served on working group to develop a presentation on enrolling former foster youth in Medicaid.

October 31, 2015

Meeting of the National Advisory Council

Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health invited Professor McCown to serve on its National Advisory Council, which met November 4-6.

October 30, 2015

Participated in Negotiated Rulemaking

Department of Family and Protective Services

Invited to participate in negotiated rulemaking regarding notification of significant events in the Texas Family Code, §264.018(l), as amended by Section 48, SB 206, 84th Legislature, 2015.

September 22, 2015

“Hacking Through the Jungle of ICPC, UCCJEA, ICWA, and More”

Travis County CPS Model Court Continuing Legal Education

September 11, 2015

Presented Texas Civil Procedure Update

State Bar Advanced Civil Appellate Practice

August 18, 2015

Facilitated Discussion of the Judge's Role in Ensuring Child Well-Being

Child Welfare Conference hosted by Texas Center for the Judiciary

Moderated panel of foster youth and facilitated judicial discussion of judge's role in ensuring child well-being in foster care cases.

July 21, 2015

Moving from Ordinary to Extraordinary Representation in CPS Cases

State Bar CLE

Presented Continuing Legal Education Program sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and the Children's Commission to attorneys representing parties in CPS cases.

June 30, 2015

78th Annual Conference

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Attended 78th Annual Conference of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

June 30, 2015

SB 1889 Implementation Stakeholder Workgroup

Department of Family and Protective Services

Provided comments on drafting regulations to implement Senate Bill 1889 relating to prohibiting findings of abuse and neglect against a parent who seeks mental or behavioral health services for a child from the department solely because the family is unable to obtain services elsewhere.

January 30, 2015

Legal Representation Workgroup

Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission

January 23, 2015

Facilatator, Child and Family Services Review Stakeholder Feedback Meeting

Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission

January 12, 2015

Member, HHSC Performance Review Strike Force

Appointed by Governor Abbott

January 8, 2015

Workshop on Reducing the Use of Psychotropic Medication in Foster Care

22nd Annual Children's Law Institute in New Mexico

2014

December 19, 2014

Facilatator, Child and Family Services Review Stakeholder Feedback Meeting

Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission

November 30, 2014

American Law Institute's Member's Consultative Group

Restatement on Children and the Law

November 14, 2014

Facilatator, Child and Family Services Review Stakeholder Feedback Meeting

Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission

November 13, 2014

Testimony about DFPS/HHSC Consolidation

Sunset Advisory Comission

November 13, 2014

Panelist on Hacking through the Jungle of ICPC, UCCJEA, ICWA, and Vienna Convention

Texas Department of Family & Protective Services Attorneys Conference

July 18, 2014

Advocates cite drownings in calls for help with CPS case loads

Houston Chronicle

Quoted regarding foster care.

June 25, 2014

Testimony on Proposed Sunset Staff Recommendations regarding Department of Family and Protective Services

Sunset Advisory Comission

June 3, 2014

Inivited Testimony about Child Deaths Due to Maltreatment

Federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

May 30, 2014

Keynote Address on Foster Care Youth Success in College

Education Reach for Texans Conference

May 27, 2014

Comments on Proposed Sunset Staff Recommendations regarding Department of Family and Protective Services

Sunset Advisory Comission

April 23, 2014

Texas Civil Procedure Update

County and District Clerks Association, UT Law-CLE

March 7, 2014

HB 915 Implementation Workgroup

Texas Supreme Court Commission on Children, Youth & Families

Facilitated the final meeting of the HB 915 Implementation Workgroup regarding the use of psychotropic medication in foster care.

February 28, 2014

Legal Representation Workgroup

Texas Supreme Court's Commission on Children, Youth & Families

Participated as a member of the Legal Representation Workgroup to improve legal representation of children and parents in CPS cases.

February 21, 2014

Texas Senators Split on How to Address Sharp Rise in Foster Care Deaths

Dallas Morning News

Quoted in Dallas Morning News on child safety.

February 20, 2014

Testimony on Child Safety in Foster Care

Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee

January 28, 2014

Child Protection Training

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Prepared a taped teaching module on preparing affidavits in child abuse cases.

2013

December 11, 2013

Permanency Options and the Role of the Court-Appointed Special Advocate

Texas CASA Webinar

October 28, 2013

The United States of Texas, Why the Lone Star State is America’s future

Time Magazine

Quoted by Time Magazine in cover story on Texas.

October 26, 2013

Texas Conquers America Predicts Time Magazine

Dallas Morning News

Quoted by Dallas Morning News in Steve Blow column on Texas.

September 1, 2013

Eluding Big Ethics Fines

San Antonio Express-News

Quoted by the San Antonio Express-News about the standard of review in administrative appeals in Texas.

August 29, 2013

Lawsuit charging that Texas provides shoddy care for foster children can advance, judge rules

Dallas Morning News

Quoted by the Dallas Morning News about a federal class action regarding the care provided to foster children.

August 18, 2013

Toddler’s death raises questions about how Texas contractor screens, trains foster parents

Dallas Morning News

Quoted by Dallas Morning News about how Texas screens and trains foster parents.

2012

November 30, 2012

House Bill 915 Implementation Workgroup

Facilitating the House Bill 915 Implementation Workgroup on psychotropic medication for foster youth at the request of the Texas Supreme Court Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families.

November 30, 2012

Planning Committee for Meadows Mental Health Institute

Serving on the Planning Committee for the Meadows Mental Health Institute at the request of the Meadows Foundation.

November 30, 2012

Public Private Parternship on Foster Care Redesign

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

November 30, 2012

Advisory Council

U.T. School of Social Work

November 30, 2012

Trauma Informed Care Assessment Workgroup

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services