Document Type

Symposium Article

Publication Date



Given the myriad of professionals involved in protecting children from abuse and neglect, legal practice in the field of child protection requires an understanding of the various disciplines these professionals represent. Professor Scarnecchia argues that such an understanding is necessary in order for the attorney to serve as a zealous advocate for her client. In hopes of creating this understanding in students at the University of Michigan, an interdisciplinary seminar in child abuse and neglect has been created. Professor Scarnecchia details the substantive content of the seminar, discussing specific issues that arise in protecting children. She explains that by using actual cases to illustrate how these issues appear in child protection cases, and how they are addressed by the various disciplines, the seminar has been able to maintain an emphasis on practice and practical skills. Choices of class materials, assignments, enrollment, and faculty are also detailed to encourage the development of such a program at other institutions.