QIC-ChildRep Best Practice Model
- Court Personnel/Legal Professionals
Targeted Age Group(s)
- 18 or older
QIC-EY Engagement Model Components (i) The engagement model components were identified through the QIC-EY Environmental Scan as critical to the support of youth engagement in the attainment of permanence.
- Prioritize Legal, Relational and Cultural Permanence
- Enhance Court Practices
From 2009 to 2016, the University of Michigan Law School housed the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System (QIC-ChildRep). The QIC-ChildRep was charged with gathering, developing and communicating knowledge about child representation and with promoting consensus on the role of the child’s legal representative. This seven-year, multimillion-dollar project, directed by Clinical Professor Don Duquette, conducted a national needs assessment that identified a substantial consensus about the role and duties of the child’s lawyer. The needs assessment led to the QIC-ChildRep Best Practice Model, an update and expansion of the 1996 American Bar Association’s “Standards of Practice for Lawyers Who Represent Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases.”
The QIC-ChildRep conducted one of the first empirically based analyses of how legal representation for the child might be delivered best. Lawyers in Georgia and Washington State were assigned randomly to two groups — experimental and control. The experimental group was given two days of training and regular follow-up. The study included 263 attorneys from the two states and 37 different judicial districts — and 4,274 children. The central finding was that lawyers who practiced according to the QIC Model did a better job representing the children and got improved results.
A two-day training for attorneys was developed to advance the QIC-ChildRep Best Practice Model. The model consists of six core skills:
(1) Enter the child’s world.
(2) Assess child safety.
(3) Actively evaluate needs.
(4) Advance case planning.
(5) Develop case theory.
(6) Advocate effectively.
The QIC Best Practice Model innovation was extracted carefully from decades of scholarship, experience and national debate. The six core skills summarize the QIC Model and organize the training and the subsequent practice of lawyers.
The agenda and materials for this training are available for public use. For assistance facilitating or providing this training, please contact the National Association of Counsel for Children at Training@NACCchildlaw.org. To see the full narrative about the training material, please refer to “Children’s Justice: How to Improve Legal Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System,” Chapter 5.