Children with disabilities are maltreated at a higher rate than other children and overrepresented in child protection matters, yet most social service caseworkers, judges, child advocates, and other professionals involved in these cases receive little to no training about evaluating and addressing their needs. Child protection case outcomes for children with disabilities tend to differ from those of nondisabled children, with more disabled children experiencing a termination of their parents' rights and fewer being reunified with their parents or placed with kin. They also tend to experience longer waits for adoption. Furthermore, the poor outcomes that plague youth who age out of foster care appear to be even more likely for youth with disabilities. While the literature about abuse and neglect in children with disabilities is fairly extensive, minimal attention has been paid to how their lawyers might advocate more effectively for them, including the possibility of using various disability rights laws to further child well-being. This Article attempts to fill the legal advocacy void in the literature on children with disabilities in child protection proceedings. Part II covers definitions of disability and the prevalence of disability amongst children involved in child protection matters. Part III discusses the particular needs and outcomes of these children, framed as opportunities for better advocacy to address these challenges. Finally, Part IV describes available legal mechanisms advocates may use to ensure that the needs of maltreated, court-involved children with disabilities are met.
Kay, Joshua (2010- ). "Advocating for Children with Disabilities in Child Protection Cases." Touro L. Rev. 35, no. 1 (2019): 345-66.