RESOLUTION ON STANDARDS OF PRACTICE IN DEPENDENCY PROCEEDINGS

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association is committed to improving the quality of representation in courts that serve children, youth and families; and

WHEREAS, the American Bar Association has established as a priority the effective representation of children and families in accordance with Standards of Practice adopted in February, 1996; and

WHEREAS, the ever-important need for quality representation of children and families in dependency matters has grown in recent years because of the impact of the drug crisis on poor families, reduced family access to resources, accelerated procedures to achieve permanency for children and the requirements of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act that all parties to such proceedings shall be represented by counsel; and

WHEREAS, the representation of children and families involved in dependency proceedings requires special skills, training and expertise, sensitivity, and certain minimum expenditures of time and resources; and

WHEREAS, court-appointed counsel for indigent parties need access to resources for independent expert and investigative services to adequately represent their clients; and

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association by resolution on March 27, 1997 called for improvements in the quality and compensation of court-appointed private counsel for parties to dependency and adoption proceedings;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports the adoption of proposed Local Rules of Court, in the form attached to this Resolution, in order to improve the quality of and compensation for representation in dependency and adoption proceedings.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: March 23, 2000