Burden of Proof Begone:

The Pernicious Effect of Emergency Removal in Child Protective Proceedings

This article examines the tendency of emergency child-removal decisions – by social
workers, police officers and judges – to become self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating in subsequent child protective proceedings. The existence of this procedural phenomenon is widely acknowledged by legal practitioners, but its causes and consequences have rarely been explored. Yet its importance cannot be underestimated, especially in the age of ASFA2 – when every day a child spends in foster care represents another tick of the clock in a countdown toward termination of parental rights.

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