Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program Guest Lecture by Deborah Dentler “Child Welfare: Foster Care System Reform”

Watch the video recorded lecture “Child Welfare: Foster Care System Reform” by Deborah Dentler on February 8th, 2018.

Click on the title for a link to the video and more details.

Guest speakers include Deborah Dentler, Attorney, Law Office of Deborah Dentler, Garrett Therolf, Senior Investigative Reporter, University of California, Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program and Common Sense Media, and Mark Hamlin, HLS ’16, Associate Attorney, Baker Botts LLP.

Foster Families Share Their Stories of Love and Loss

“Foster care changes a person,” wrote Stephanie Bennington, a former foster child from Fremont, Neb., after we asked readers to send us their foster care stories. The stories came in response to “Losing a Foster Child,” the most recent essay by Meghan Moravcik Walbert, who chronicled the time her family spent with the foster child she nicknamed BlueJay. Read the full article including comments by Deborah Dentler here.

Plaintiff in landmark lawsuit against DCFS adopts her foster child on National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day 2014











DD Post Adoption Day

The voice of foster kids

 LA Times Logo150xfxJim Newton reports for the Los Angeles Times on the foster care system and why the county should include foster parents in decisions about the children in their care. Deborah Dentler discusses the grievance procedure for foster parents. Read the complete article here.

California Juvenile Dependency Practice – 2012 Edition Available

Co-Authors: Deborah Dentler, Judge Amy Pellman, Referee Sherri Sobel, renowned children’s attorney Janet Sherwood and other leading figures in the field of California dependency law.

Gives the essentials of dependency law, but also adresses the specialized needs of attorneys for the child, the parents, the courty, and de facto parents.

  • Detention hearing, jurisdictional hearing, dispositional hearing, review hearings, the Section 366.26 hearing
  • Special proceedings (modification, supplemental and subsequent petitions)
  • Appeals and writs
  • Responsibilities of attorneys representing each party
  • Child’s expanded right to counsel
  • The sibling relationship exception to termination of parental rights
  • Checklists and deadlines
  • Sample Judicial Council and attorney-drafter forms throughout
  • Fully updated with cases, statues, and court rules

It is available in public law libraries and at law school libraries. It is available in soft-bound print edition for $175 and is also available online as a web based subscription program on an annual basis and can be purchased here.

Deborah Presents at the North American Council on Adoptable Children – 38th Annual Conference

Deborah will be presenting a panel discussion at the this month’s annual conference of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, or “NACAC,” the nation’s largest and most influential adoption advocacy organization.  The conference brings together adoptive and foster parents, child welfare professionals, adoptees, foster care alumni, kinship caregivers, and other child advocates from across North America, and offers special activities for kids and teens.

This year’s annual NACAC conference will be held in Crystal City, Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.) on July 25 to 28, 2012. 


Deborah’s presentation will feature Judge Amy Pellman of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court.

Friday, July 27th at 10:30 AM.

To Grandmother’s House We Go: How Will the Judge Decide in Kin v. Foster Parent Cases
It’s a familiar story. A relative comes forward asking to keep a child in the family. A foster child’s adoption is delayed or derailed while social workers and lawyers consider what is best for the child. In a session led by judges and lawyers who grapple with kin v. foster parent cases in court, learn about laws granting varying degrees of preference to relatives and current caregivers, and explore current trends in law and policy. Deborah Dentler, attorney-at-law, California • Amy Pellman, Los Angeles Superior Court, California

For more about the annual conference click here.

For more about NACAC, visit the website here.

To obtain a copy of the presentation materials, contact Deborah’s office.