Friday, January 30, 2009

Conference - Drugs, Pregnancy and Parenting

Drugs, Pregnancy and Parenting:
What the Experts in Medicine, Social Work and the Law Have to Say
Wednesday, February 11, 2009, New York City


People working in the field of criminal law, family law, and child welfare often have cases that involve issues of drug use. These lawyers, social workers, counselors, advocates and investigators, however, are often trying to do their jobs without the benefit of evidence-based research or access to experts knowledgeable about drugs, drug treatment and the relationship between drug use, pregnancy and parenting. Drugs, Pregnancy and Parenting: What the Experts in Medicine, Social Work and the Law Have to Say will provide a unique opportunity to meet and learn from the experts. Register at: http://napwtraining.eventbrite.com/

This dynamic program features nationally and internationally renowned medical, social work, and legal experts as well as people with direct experience who will help distinguish myth from fact, evidence-based information from media hype and provide meaningful tools for improved advocacy, representation, care and treatment. Panelists will discuss current research on marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, as well as other areas of research regarding drug use, prenatal exposure to drugs, recovery, treatment and parenting. This research is critical for effective representation and care.

Discussion points will include:
• What does a positive drug test predict about future neglect and abuse?
• What tools can I use to distinguish between myth and fact regarding the effect of drugs and other claims made about drug use and drug users? Is there such a thing as a "crack baby"?
• Is there a difference between drug use and abuse? Can a person parent and be a drug user?
• How should social workers, lawyers, counselors, advocates and judges use and interpret drug tests?
• How do we determine what, if any, treatment should be required and how do we measure its success?
• What is the relationship between drug use, abstinence, relapse and recovery?
• What does evidence-based research tell us about the effectiveness of different kinds of drug treatment?
• How can we implement safety plans that keep families together?
• How can I best advocate for/ help my client when drug use is an issue?

No matter what kind of work you do or practice you have, this course will challenge your assumptions, identify valuable resources and generate hope about families where drug use is an issue.

When: Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 9am to 6pm.
Where: NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square South, Manhattan
Registration: The fee is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.  Breakfast, lunch and beverages will be provided. Financial aid is available. Please register at: http://napwtraining.eventbrite.com/

This program was developed in consultation with representatives from all aspects of New York City 's child welfare system. It is co-sponsored by National Advocates for Pregnant Women, New York University School of Law, and the New York University Silver School of Social Work.

Continuing Legal Education, (7 NY-CLE Credits: 5 Areas of Professional Practice, 2 Skills), Social Work (8 Credits) and CASAC (NYS OASAS 7.5 clock hours approved for CASAC, CPP and/or CPS initial credentialing and/or renewal credits) for full or partial day program available for New York. This program is appropriate for practitioners at all levels. Students are welcome.

For more information, contact Allison Guttu, NAPW Equal Justice Works Staff Attorney, at 212-255-9252 or aguttu@advocatesforpregnantwomen.org.

RR (thanks to Maria Arias)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2009/01/conference---dr.html

Child Abuse, Custody (parenting plans), Termination of Parental Rights, Visitation | Permalink

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Comments

What about millions of Fathers who are MIA because of the family court system? Political figures often discuss the welfare of our children but never discuss the problem regarding our family court system, unfair visitation laws and how those laws effective fathers who want to be part of their children’s lives.

There is a Child Support Enforcement agency in every state but not a Visitation/Parenting Time Enforcement Agency. Why?? This needs to be an issue addressed at the federal level and not decided by the states because the system at the state level is not working. Most states call the time Fathers spend with their children as “Visitation” instead of calling it what it is “Parenting time”. Parenting time is a time to be a parent to your child. Visitation is what the family court force on fathers, as they want fathers to become an occasional visitor. Family courts wants fathers to settle for becoming a 'Disney Dad,' one whose role is nothing more than outings to theme parks once or twice a month. Why can’t the family courts grant time to fathers in a frequency, duration, and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong and loving relationship between the child and the parent? The standard visitation which is four days a month is not enough time to be an effective parent to your child. The family courts very, very rarely enforce visitation. Here, the prejudice is against fathers and their parental rights. The congress refuses to acknowledge the injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of denying the love and companionship between a father and their child. Divorce from a spouse is not a divorce from your children, nor should custody decisions be used as a punishment. Joint custody can benefit the children, the divorced parents, and society in general by having both parents involved in the child’s upbringing.

Fathers are systematically eliminated from their children’s lives. Father’s parental rights are systematically terminated by family court judges who have a deep seated gender bias against fathers. Termination of parental rights is both total and irrevocable. Termination of parental rights is the family law equivalent of the death penalty in a criminal case. The primary casualties in our Domestic Relations courts are our children.

Courts are supposed to approach cases of child custody, support payments, and visitation rights in a gender-neutral posture. It sounds fair, and it is fair. But it is a myth. Judges are not enforcing these gender laws fairly, and few seem to care. Unless you have been forcefully removed from the everyday upbringing of your child by the Court, you can not fathom the emotional distress. To discriminate against fathers because of their gender in this day and age is no different than telling a person to go to the back of the bus because of their skin color. With sole or primary custody going to the mother in roughly 90% of cases, claiming custody is not based on gender would be like claiming hiring is not based on race if 90% of a particular race, though equally qualified, was unable to obtain employment. This was missing from the Obama’s Father’s day speech. What about millions of Fathers who are MIA because of the family court system?

Anguish is experienced by hundreds of thousands of fathers across the country. Their grievances include: blocked visitation and unenforced visitation orders; "move away" spouses who use geography as a method of driving fathers out of their children's lives; acceptance by the courts of false and/or uncorroborated accusations as a basis for denying custody or even contact between parent and child; a "win/lose" system which pits ex-spouses against one another by designating a custodial and a noncustodial parent; courts which in determining custody tilt heavily towards the parent who initiates the divorce, thus encouraging each parent to "strike first"; burdensome legal costs; and judicial preference for mothers over fathers as custodial parents.

The child's right to equal access and opportunity with both parents, the right to be guided and nurtured by both parents, the right to have major decisions made by the application of both parents' wisdom, judgment and experience. The child does not forfeit these rights when the parents divorce.

Children who live absent their fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to
engage in criminal behavior than those who live with their fathers. (Father Facts, Horn and Sylvester, National Fatherhood Initiative, 2002.)

Posted by: A Father | Dec 27, 2009 3:16:54 AM

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