Show: The Children’s Law Podcast

Can Singing in the Car Make You a Better Children’s Lawyer?

We talk about work culture and retention a lot in child welfare. Angela talks with Cathy Krebs, Director of the ABA’s Children’s Rights Litigation Committee who thinks a new approach to these topics could lead to ways to improve representation.

A few of the subjects covered were:

Burnout and self-care – Cathy tells a story of a child client who’s attorney seemed so distracted and overwhelmed that the child decided not to “burden” the lawyer with what was happening in her life. The need for self-care is real, and doing anything from singing to cooking to meditation has benefit.

Mentorship – Attorneys with even a couple years of experience can help others who don’t know the culture or may be working alone.

Community – If you’re a solo practitioner or in a smaller children’s law office, there are things you can do within existing resources to create a supportive network, like brown bag lunches or collaborating on systemic advocacy.

The ABA’s Children’s Rights Committee has resources on this topic and tons of others. Some of the studies mentioned include:

The Future of Children’s Lawyering

Practical Tips for Addressing Burnout

Using Reflective Case Consultation to Battle Burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress

2021 Illinois Legal Aid Recruitment and Retention Study

What Draws Attorneys to Child Welfare Practice

The Case for a Centralized Office for Legal Representation in Child Welfare Cases

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