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National Association of Counsel for Children

National Association of Counsel for Children

Logo of the National Association of Counsel for Children

Founded in 1977, the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) works to improve the quality of legal representation of children in dependency, delinquency, and family law cases. NACC is a non-profit charitable and professional membership organization headquartered in the Kempe Center on the campus of the Children's Hospital in Colorado.

NACC has more-than-2,000 members include attorneys that represent children in juvenile court and family court, as well as judges and other professionals in related fields.

NACC is active in shaping legislation and policy for judicial proceedings involving children, including victims of abuse and neglect in delinquency proceedings, as juvenile offenders, as subjects of custody, visitation and adoption proceedings, and as participants in civil damages litigation.

Additionally, the NACC has certified more than 400 family law attorneys as Child Welfare Law Specialists in 33 jurisdictions.

Benefits of Membership in the NACC

The benefits of membership in the NACC include:

  • Access to the NACC Listserv, which connects child and family law professionals;
  • Access to a members-only online resource center for family, dependency, policy and delinquency professionals;
  • Calendar of events for training, conferences and continuing legal education (CLE) classes and seminars;
  • Receiving a copy of The Guardian, an electronic quarterly publication of NACC with case law updates, and practice tips;
  • Receiving a copy of the NACC monthly newsletter with updates about the organization, news items, and articles on child welfare law;
  • Access to NACC's database with public and private profiles of members;
  • Discounts on legal conferences and publications;
  • Access to the NACC's career center for job and resume postings; and
  • Profile on NACC's website.

The NACC Certification Program

The NACC certification program is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). NACC's certification program has been endorsed by the Conference of Chief Justices/Conference of State Court Administrators (CCJ/COSCA) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).

The NACC's Child Welfare Law Certification is available to attorneys who serve as a representative in child protection proceedings as:

  • Guardian ad Litem;
  • Law Guardian;
  • Attorney ad Litem;
  • Parent's Attorney;
  • Government Attorney;
  • Agency Attorney; or
  • Department Attorney.

The specialization area as approved by the ABA is defined as "the practice of law representing children, parents or the government in all child protection proceedings including emergency, temporary custody, adjudication, disposition, foster care, permanency planning, termination, guardianship, and adoption."

In most states, only board-certified child welfare lawyers may advertise as specialists in that area of the law.

Requirements to Become a Child Welfare Law Specialist

The requirements to become a Child Welfare Law Specialist are available to attorneys who represent children, parents, and agencies in child abuse, neglect, and dependency cases. Requirements for the program include:

  • The attorney has practiced law for more than three years;
  • The attorney has devoted 30% or more of his practice to child welfare law for each of the last three years;
  • The attorney has completed at least 36 hours of CLE courses in the field of child welfare law; and
  • The attorney must provide a writing sample showing legal analysis in the field of child welfare law such as a brief, memorandum of law, or article.

Contact Information

National Association of Counsel for Children
13123 E. 16th Avenue, B390
Aurora, CO 80045

This article was last updated on December 27, 2019.