top of page





David and Jerry authored a number of Information Memoranda (guidance to the field) in support of a national vision for strengthening families. Taken together these IMs were intended as the pathway to a new approach to working with families and communities to prevent unnecessary family separation.  Areas of focus included:  high quality legal representation, foster care as a support to families, family time, community-based support, and the inclusion of parent and youth voice in all aspects of CW.  They also issued letters to the field urging immediate action and identifying resource flexibilities during the Covid-19 pandemic.


High Quality Legal Representation for All Parties in Child Welfare Proceedings

January 17, 2017



Foster Care as a Support to Families

April 29, 2020



Family time and visitation for children and youth in out-of-home care

February 5, 2020



NEW LEGISLATION – Public Law 115-123, the Family First Prevention Services Act within Division E, Title VII of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

April 12, 2018



Strengthening families through primary prevention of child maltreatment and unnecessary parent-child separation

November 16, 2018


Engaging, empowering, and utilizing family and youth voice in all aspects of child welfare to drive case planning and system improvement.

August 1, 2019


Achieving Permanency for the Well-being of Children and Youth

January 5, 2021


Civil Legal Advocacy to Promote Child and Family Well-being, Address the Social Determinants of Health, and Enhance Community Resilience

January 14, 2021


Allowable flexibilities related to adaptations of evidence-based programs in the title IV-E prevention services program for tribal communities

January 15, 2021



Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic: Supporting Families Through More Just, Equitable, Proactive, and Integrated Approaches

January 14, 2021


Trauma, Broken Promises and Aloneness (January 2021)

Beautiful Gifts and Lumps of Coal (January 2021)

Standing in the Breach (December 2020)

Apoyamos a Las Familias (We Support Families) (November 2020)

Vision as an Action Word (October 2020) 

We Must Meet the Moment in Child Welfare (August/September 2020)

A Reunification Month Message  (June/July 2020)

Family is Essential (June/July 2020)

Everyone Needs Relationships  (May 2020)

Buying a Bracelet Will Not Prevent Child Abuse  (April 2020)

Are We Sincere About Valuing Families  (March 2020)

Continuum or Continuation?  A Choice of Conscience  (February 2020)

It’s Time to Stop Confusing Poverty with Neglect  (December 2019/January 2020)

Adoption is Wonderful and We Should Reduce the Need for It  (November 2019)

Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences in Child Welfare  (October 2019)

A Necessary Reconnection  (September 2019)

The Need to Balance the Evidence in Child Welfare  (July/August 2019)

Becoming a Community for Strengthening Families:  The Words We Use  (June 2019)

We Know a Better Way to Provide Foster Care  (May 2019)

Strong and Thriving Communities are Our Best Prevention Strategy  (April 2019)

It’s Time to Listen to Parents and Youth and Act on Their Words  (March 2019)

Parent Well-Being and Parent Child Relationships are Key to Promoting Child Well-Being  (February 2019)

Beyond the Table:  The Need to Work with Courts and the Legal Community to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes  (Dec 2018/Jan 2019)

A Message of Thanks and Call to Reduce the Need for Adoption  (November 2018)

The Need for a Primary Prevention Focused Child Welfare System (October 2018)

The Need for an Expanded View of the Child Welfare Workforce  (September 2018)

Let’s Commit to Ensuring Psychological and Emotional Well-Being for Children in Foster Care  (July/August 2018)

A Time to Celebrate and Challenge Ourselves  (June 2018)

Foster Care can be a Service to Families  (May 2018)

Let’s Make Every Month Prevention Month  (April 2018)


Staying the Course for Families: What We Got Right While So Much Else Was Wrong (February 11, 2021) 

While Trump Separated Families, One of His Appointees Fought to Keep Them Together.  Will Biden Keep Him Around? (Jan. 14, 2021) 

Top Federal Child Welfare Officials: Family is a Compelling Reason (April 2020)                                                                                                  

In Era of Family Separation, a Top Administration Official Vows to Fight the Practice in Child Welfare (April 2019) 

Top Trump Child Welfare Official Fears Potential for Box-Checking with Family First Act (February 2019) 

Beyond Family First: Congress Should Boost Funding to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect, Chronicle of Social Change (November 2018)

Foster Care, Hamilton and America’s Devolving Compact with Vulnerable People, Chronicle of Social Change (August 2018)

Trump’s Top Child Welfare Official: Family First a Good First Step, but True Prevention is Key, Chronicle of Social Change (February 2018)

Trump’s Top Child Welfare Official Lays Out His Vision, Chronicle of Social Change (November 2017)


congressional testimony.jpeg

Multidisciplinary Representation and its Positive Impact on Reunification  (020) webinar highlights the benefits of multidisciplinary legal teams, explains the Children’s Bureau recent decision to invest federal IV-E dollars in the multidisciplinary legal representation model for parents and children, shares a 2019 study on this model, and explains how this model supports child welfare agencies and most importantly, children and their parents. Panelists included Dr. Jerry Milner and Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson.

bottom of page