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Child Law Resources

There are many great resources available to child law practitioners in Georgia. This page collects some of those resources for ease of reference for our members and the child law community in Georgia.

Child Welfare Trial Notebook

The Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children, working with a team of GACC members, has produced a Child Welfare Trial Notebook for attorneys working in dependency and child in need of services cases in Georgia's juvenile courts. This document is fully up-to-date, incorporating the provisions of Georgia's new juvenile code. The trial notebook has been updated as of October 2014. There are now 3 different options:

Full version of the Child Welfare Trial Notebook

Condensed version

Code companion version

Updated Foster Care Policies

DFCS has recently updated their foster care and independent living program policies and related forms.

Click here for an index of general foster care policies and links to the policies (Effective August 2014).

Click here for an index of foster care forms and links to the forms.

Click here for an index of independent living program policies and links to the policies (Effective November 2014).

Sample Forms and Motions for Foster Care Services after 18

Thanks to members from DeKalb County for sharing their protocol and sample motion and order for independent living services cases for children in foster care after they turn 18. 

Pretrial Procedures

Here's a standing order from Enotah Judicial Circuit laying out pretrial discovery and evidence issues.

Delinquency Guides

The manual Representing the Whole Child was recently updated by the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic. It provides a good overview for those working in the delinquency system. Another good resource is the Ten Core Principles from the National Juvenile Defender Center.

Georgia Appellate Law

The Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children produces summaries of all Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court cases involving child welfare, and some cases involving delinquency. Here are the most recent summaries:

Note: April 2015 is the first month in which a case references Georgia's new juvenile code, which took effect on January 1, 2014. Please compare the old and new provisions of law before citing to the cases decided in March 2015 or before.

In re MMR and In re DJT, March 2016

Committee on Justice for Children case law summaries for November 2015 - March 2016 are here.

There were no Deprivation/Dependency cases decided in May or June 2015.

April 2015 Dependency cases.

March 2015 Deprivation/Dependency cases are in separate files by case:

In the Interest of B.R.F.

In the Interest of C.A.J.

In the Interest of S.R.R.

In the Interest of T.A.

February 2015 Deprivation/Dependency Cases

There were no Deprivation/Dependency cases decided in December 2014 or January 2015.

November 2014 Deprivation/Dependency cases can be found in two files, here and here.

October 2014 Deprivation/Dependency cases are in two files, here and here.

No relevant cases were decided in August or September of 2014.

July 2014 Deprivation/Dependency Cases

June 2014 Deprivation/Dependency Cases

No relevant cases were decided in April or May of 2014.

March 2014 Deprivation/Dependency Cases

February 2014 Deprivation/Dependency Cases

2015 Report on Child Welfare Failures

A new report from the Children's Advocacy Institute, "Shame on U.S." highlights failures of federal and state agencies responsible for child welfare law. You can find the full report here, or the executive summary here.

Complex Trauma Resources

Recently, a collaboration between the Carter Center, Casey Family Programs, the Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children, the State Bar of Georgia's Child Protection and Advocacy Section, and Goshen Valley Boys Ranch has created a series of summits on the kinds of complex trauma children in the juvenile court system experience. Visit the complex trauma website for resources and to watch video of summit presentations.

This guide from the National Trauma Child Stress Network provides suggests for judges and attorneys who are dealing with birth parents with trauma histories in the child welfare system.

Health of Children in Foster Care

This report from Pediatrics documents the poor mental and physical health of children in the foster care system.

Domestic Violence Fact Sheet

This fact sheet from our friends at the National Counsel of Juvenile and Family Court Judges provides a great overview of the issues of exposure of children to domestic violence.

Help for Teen Parents

Here are some resources for teen parents in foster care from the Teen Parent Connection: a brochure on their services and a know your rights brochure

Special Education Resources

You can find lots of great information related to special education law at

Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy

The Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy is a series of trainings from a wide range of experts on topics relevant to juvenile court practitioners. It is co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children and the Barton Child Law and Policy Center. All sessions are archived on video and many of the presentation handouts are also available on the Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy web page.

Appealing a Case from Juvenile Court

Our friends at the Parent Attorney Advocacy Committee have created some excellent resources to support attorneys appealing cases from juvenile court. While it was targeted to dependency and termination of parental rights, it contains a lot of helpful information for all types of juvenile court appeals. The training presentation can be accessed here, and other resources are available here.

Representing Parents During Child Welfare Investigations

This article from the ABA Child Law Practice Newsletter provides helpful pre-court advocacy strategies to help keep families together.

Protecting the Rights of Parents and Prospective Parents with Disabilities

Here is guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the rights of parents with disabilities vis a vis the child welfare system.


"Protecting children and promoting their well-being through excellence in courtroom advocacy."
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Attn: Jane Okrasinski
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Athens, Georgia 30607
Phone: 706-614-7792