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A New National Movement in Parent Representation

By Susan Jacobs & Martin Guggenheim

Although the U.S. Supreme Court held in 1981 that parents were not entitled to court-assigned counsel in every decision to terminate parental rights, there is a vigorous national movement for indigent parents to have such counsel. Most states now recognize that indigent parents have a right to such counsel, and more and more states are recognizing the need for a new model of representation—incorporating social workers and parent advocates into child welfare practice.

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