40 results for author: Daniel Pollack

Mediating Lawsuits Against Human Services Agencies

The vast majority of lawsuits against human services agencies do not go to trial. They are settled, many times through mediation. A mediation is a meeting, typically at the mediator’s office or the office of one of the attorneys, where the mediator assists the parties to resolve their differences so the lawsuit can be settled without going to trial. A mediation is not the same as a hearing or an arbitration. The mediator is an impartial negotiator who has no authority to decide the merits of the case. Instead, the mediator identifies aspects of the case that lend themselves to compromise and helps the parties reach a voluntary resolution. Neither party is coerced or forced to settle the case. If a voluntary settlement cannot not be reached the mediation concludes and the lawsuit continues.

Social Work and the Courts (3rd edition)

Social Work and the Courts is a collection of important and cutting-edge court decisions in the field of human services, now in its third edition. Pollack and Kleinman present an array of legal cases in everyday language, with clear explanation of the facts and issues, and in-depth examinations of the reasoning and implications of each verdict. This new edition includes over twenty new cases, all of which happened between 2010 and 2014, making this one of the most significant and timely investigations of how social work and the law intersect. Special attention is paid to recent rulings in child welfare and social worker liability. The dissection and analysis of these influential cases makes this volume an excellent teaching tool and an essential resource for both social workers and policy makers.

Red Flag the Red-flag Case Notes or Face Disaster

Child welfare systems — federal, state, county or city — contain vast repositories of information. Each time a case is opened, worked on or closed, valuable information about children’s needs is recorded — much of it in compliance with a wide assortment of legal requirements. As a result, the department builds a rich history of a child’s life that can be used as an important resource for years. Much case information is electronically recorded: information and experience we refer to as institutional memory. Unfortunately, this institutional memory is only retrievable when someone sidles up to a veteran worker and asks, “Hi, Jane, do you ...

Seven Avoidable Legal Mistakes CPS Investigators Make

Seven attorneys give their observations and understandings of the avoidable legal missteps that child protective services investigators take: CPS interviewers sometimes view a child's anti-social or hurtful behavior as evidence that the child is not a trustworthy reporter of abuse. Assuming that the CPS investigator will be allowed to testify in place of the child at a criminal trial is an avoidable legal mistake. Even though CPS investigators are invariably well-meaning, they tend to form an opinion quickly as they investigate a case and to neglect alternative explanations and motives to fabricate. One avoidable mistake CPS invest...

Sexual Assault Of Minors In Rural Areas: The Role Of Departments Of Human Services

They may not make the national news too frequently, but minors in rural areas are sexually assaulted – very often. Federal and state legislatures have enacted laws designed to protect minors from registered sex offenders. Adopted in 1996, Megan’s Law created a nationwide sex offender registry. Every state followed suit. Codified in California Penal Code, §§ 290 et seq. (including a voter-approved measure known as “Jessica’s Law”) regulates the residency of registered sex offenders. It prohibits registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Another California statute regulates loitering by registe...

Do States Adequately Oversee People With Developmental Disabilities in Community Settings?

Like most parents, my good friend and his wife are concerned about their child’s future. They know they need to prepare her to be on her own one day. My friends are also scared. Not because he recently had a near-fatal heart attack. Their fear is more deep-rooted. Their 13-year-old daughter has Down syndrome and they are apprehensive about her future. Specifically, they are worried that one day, some unscrupulous person will take advantage of her sexually. This fear is not far-fetched. According to an article in Journal of Family Violence, among the developmentally disabled, as many as 83 percent of the females and 32 percent of the males are ...

Self-sabotage In Foster Care Placements

We like to think that we consistently act in our own best interests. But sometimes, for a variety of reasons, we find ourselves behaving in ways that interfere with our long-term goals. Human communication, including self-communication, is inherently imbued with the potential for misunderstanding, and therefore results may be second best or even detrimental. Self-sabotage affects people in politics, education, sports, science, business, and yes, human services. A positive foster care placement is one in which both the foster parents and child feel emotionally safe and connected. Though many foster parents strive to create such an environment, some children in foster care sabotage their placements. This article briefly looks at two aspects of this issue: First, how and why do children sabotage their own placements? Second, within normative legal parameters, how can human services staff address this?