Fostering Civility in the Child Welfare Legal System

January 2014

Children’s Law Institute
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Robert’s Fund Assistant Director of Programming and Curriculum, Tim Jaasko-Fisher, presented two 90-minute workshops designed to engage a multi-disciplinary group of professionals in an exploration of civility in the child-welfare legal system. Participants examined the relationship of civility to various standards of professional conduct. Through facilitated discussions, participants considered how, at times, core principles of legal ethics sometimes seem incompatible with social-work ethics and how focusing attention on civility may help begin to resolve such issues. In addition, participants were also encouraged to consider the costs of incivility and the benefits of civility with a focus on how civility helps judges, lawyers, and other professionals not only to avoid misconduct, but also to better serve the interests of justice.