Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

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One week summer class - Children's Summer Institute

Children’s Summer Institute – LAW 663
2 credits, May 24 – 28, 2021 from 9 – 3:30 (on Zoom) (This time frame includes significant breaks between class sessions and lunch breaks). Note: Instructor permission is required.

Course: The topic for this class is “Permanency for Children in the Child Welfare System.” Over the course of a week, students will engage in an interdisciplinary, interactive critical examination of the meaning behind “best interest of the child” in the child welfare and legal systems, with a special focus on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had/continues to have on children and families involved in the child welfare system. Students will examine a series of complex questions involving children’s best interests, including: how “family” is defined; how/whether the system serves children, young adults, and families; and how trauma might impact all of those involved. Students will examine challenges moving forward and needed reforms, including whether (and how) to transform the system or abolish it. A central question in the course will be: How can lawyers and judges, child development specialists, social workers, mental health professionals and others work to serve children’s best interests and respect a child and family’s rights?