Course Description



Prerequisite: Family Law; Domestic Violence Law; or permission of the instructor.

Examines how the state serves the best interest of maltreated children through child welfare and dependency court systems. Case studies, videos, and speakers supplement assigned readings on the legal, social, and historical underpinnings of the child welfare and dependency court systems in the United States, with emphasis on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania jurisdictions. Students participate in simulations of various stages of an abuse and neglect case and study how civil and criminal proceedings, including those in the juvenile justice system, affect the children, families, and professionals involved in the child welfare system. Grades are based on class participation, which may include short writing assignments, class presentation, and a final paper on a legal and policy issue or reform initiative.