Child Separation Trauma—A New Resource

You should stop what you are doing, open this document, and read it. It is a tremendous resource compiled by the ABA Center on Children and the Law that provides the following: extensive research detailing the grave consequences that result when a child is separated from his or her parent(s). This is essential practice information. If you have a Best Practice Court Team, it may be useful to bring this resource to your group for distribution.  

It is divided into the following sections: 

Part II: Talking points for trial and appellate attorneys. 

Part III: Review of the clinical literature concerning the well-documented psychological and physical effects of removal generally.  

Part IV: Reviews literature discussing the effects of placement into foster care, which concludes that those effects are negative and substantial. The memorandum then reviews literature that may serve as a resource for parents facing a removal or who have already lost their children. Some of this literature provides guidance on healthy and effective parenting strategies; other literature addresses the potential benefits of post-removal visitation, mental health counseling, and other social services. Though not particularly useful for a memorandum of law in opposition to a removal petition, these resources may be helpful in counseling the client on practical actions he or she might take to protect the relationship with his or her child. 

Part V: Reviews literature regarding the physical effects of “toxic stress,” which is prevalent among children who are removed from the parental home. 

Part VI: Provides a listing of available additional resources assessing the effects of removal, including studies on the outcomes for children removed from the parental home and the long-term effects of the trauma that results from removal.     

Can’t access the document or having difficulty with the format? 

Here is a link to these tools that you can access from your device.