“I didn’t Know You were Fighting So Hard for me”: Attorneys’ Perceptions of Youth Participation in Child Dependency Proceedings


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study examined attorneys’ perceptions of youth participation in child dependency proceedings. Surveys and semi‐structured interviews were conducted with attorneys who represent adolescents in child dependency proceedings. Three dimensions of participation were identified: receiving information, providing information, and self‐advocacy. Barriers to youth participation included individual‐level factors, such as the youth or the attorney not wanting the youth to attend, and system‐level factors, such as the scheduling of court hearings, large caseloads, long waits, and cases being adjourned multiple times. Recommendations for enhancing youth participation in child dependency proceedings are presented.

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