Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect
The Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) Office is a branch of the Family Court of the District of Columbia Superior Court. The CCAN Office maintains a list of qualified attorneys who are available for appointment in child abuse and neglect cases. The office also processes the orders appointing counsel in both new and ongoing cases. The CCAN Office provides initial and ongoing training to attorneys who represent children, parents, and caretakers in child abuse and neglect cases. The Office screens adult parties for financial eligibility for court appointed attorneys and assists attorneys who have legal and social work questions regarding child abuse and neglect cases.
The CCAN Office staff consists of a Branch Chief, who is an attorney, a social worker, and two deputy clerks. The clerical staff handles case assignment processing, financial eligibility, and inquiries. The Branch Chief and social worker provide training and support to court appointed attorneys in child abuse and neglect cases. In addition, the CCAN Office distributes a newsletter with legal, training, and social work updates for attorneys.
The Superior Court has adopted Practice Standards which regulate the performance of attorneys practicing in the child abuse and neglect area pursuant to Administrative Order 03-07. Those standards are in the following document:
|CCAN Attorney Practice Standards||Download|
In addition to working with the CCAN trained court appointed attorneys, the CCAN Office also works with the Children’s Law Center which has an agreement with the court to provide representation for some children and caretakers in child abuse and neglect cases. Children's Law Center has staff attorneys who act as guardians ad litem. This organization also recruits and trains pro bono attorneys to represent caretakers who are considering seeking adoption, guardianship, or legal custody of a neglected child. Their website can be found at www.childrenslawcenter.org