Presentations given by Barton Center faculty, fellows and students are listed here by year.  Links to related handouts from the presentation are provided when available.

Information in the presentations was correct as of the date of the presentation, but laws, policies, and other information may have changed since that time. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice.

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[Adapted or reprinted or reproduced] from [presentation title (url), date], with permission from The Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory Law School, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322.

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Barton Child Law and Policy Center
Emory Law School
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Presentations by Year


The Mandate to Report
Presented by:
Melissa D. Carter

This presentation provides information about recognizing child maltreatment and how to report it. Recent changes to the Mandated Reporter Law and the rights of Mandated Reporters are also discussed.

Combating Child Abuse: Working with Military Families Involved in the Child Welfare System
Newton County Juvenile Court Stakeholder Meeting, September 25, 2012
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter

This presentation addresses the issues surrounding child abuse in military families in Georgia. Reporting procedures, available support and programs for families, and disciplinary action are discussed.

Evaluating the Use of Psychotropic Drugs in Georgia's Foster Care System
Global Health Law & Policy Workshop Series, April 12, 2012
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter

This presentation explains what psychotropic medications are, how they are used, and why there is concern about their overuse with children in foster care. Information supporting an oversight system and avenues for change are also discussed.

Visitation Protocol: A Researched-Based Best Practices Guide to Child and Family Visitation
Fulton County Juvenile Court Stakeholder Meeting, November 13, 2012
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter

This presentation emphasizes the importance of providing children in foster care time to visit with their parents and siblings. Legal requirements, current DFCS policies, and the Visitation Protocol Project are also discussed. Click on the Visitation Protocol Project Family Time Decision Model to view an additional resource document.

School Discipline in Georgia
Presented by: Randee J. Waldman
Juvenile Law Committee, Education Law CLE

This presentation examines the long-term negative consequences of suspensions and expulsions for students and the disproportionate rates among minorities. Procedural rights and due process are also discussed.

Helping Foster Children Keep What Little They Have
Presented by: Kirsten L. Widner

This presentation provides an overview of the financial vulnerabilities faced by children in foster care and their long-term consequences. Current law and strategies for advocates are discussed.

Skills Training: Interviewing, Counseling, and Preparing a Case
Presented by: Kirsten L. Widner
2012 Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program training, May 2012

This presentation provides tips and strategies for interviewing children in preparation for juvenile court deprivation (dependency) cases.


Youth in foster care and psychotropic medications: Strategies to improve health outcomes
National Association of Counsel for Children Annual Conference, September 1, 2011
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter, presenting on a panel with the Honorable Michael Nash, Dr. Brent Wilson, Karen Worthington

This presentation teaches advocates about the risks and benefits of drugs and other treatments and how to advocate for a child’s mental health needs. Presenters discuss systemic approaches that improve mental health and permanency outcomes and provide examples of successful court and system changes.

Psychotropic Medication of Our Clients: What's to be done?
14th ABA Conference on Children and the Law, July 15, 2011
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter, presenting on a panel with JoAnn Solchany, Dr. Brent Wilson, Karen Worthington

The presentation provides a national overview of the issue of youth in foster care and psychotropic medications, including current available research, policy recommendations, and applicable provisions of federal law. Presenters describe intervention models used in various states and provide guidance on effective advocacy strategies for individual representation as well as system reform.  The comprehensive efforts underway in Georgia to create a systemic oversight mechanism is used as a case study to illustrate how changes can be made.

Psychotropic Medications for Youth in Foster Care: Who Decides?
Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and the Marcus Institute, November 2011
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter

This presentation examines the use of psychotropic medications in the foster care population and reviews federal and state laws. It also presents system oversight models and tips for advocates.

Medical Welfare is Child Welfare: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Children in Foster Care
Presented by:
Melissa D. Carter and Dr. Brent Wilson

This presentation examines the issues of medical care for children in foster care. Psychotropic medications, informed consent, and social work and medical practices for this unique population is presented along with advocacy opportunities and additional resources.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: What Every Mandatory Child Abuse Reporter Needs to Know
Presented by: Kirsten L. Widner and Kaffie McCullough

This presentation provides an overview of the problem, legal responsibility for reporting, identifying victims, how to report, and prevention tips.

When a Child is on the Witness Stand: Judicial Considerations for direct and cross examination
DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center Judges Conference
Presented by: Kirsten L. Widner with Temika Williams Murry

This presentation discusses the importance of a different approach when questioning child witnesses in the courtroom. Tips are included for judges and attorneys in making the courtroom setting less intimidating to a child and conducting better examinations.

Tips for Challenging School Searches & Interrogations
National Juvenile Defender Center Leadership Summit, October 2011
Presented by: Randee J. Waldman with Tobie J. Smith

This presentation provides an overview of case law surrounding school searches and questioning by law enforcement at school and tips for representing minors in disciplinary proceedings.

Strategies for Defending School-Based Cases
Presented by: Randee J. Waldman

This presentation covers search and seizure, interrogation, discovery, disciplinary hearings, and special education for youth.

Difficult Conversations: A Developmental Framework for Interviewing, Counseling, and Communicating with Youth in Juvenile or Adult Court
Mississippi Youth Court Defender Conference, September 2011
Presented by:
Randee J. Waldman with Jennifer C. Lutz

This presentation provides information to understand the developmental differences between youth and adults and how to interview child clients appropriately and effectively.

Increasing Civic Engagement
Presented by: Kirsten L. Widner

This presentation provides an easy-to-understand overview of the Georgia legislature, the state budget process, how to track legislation, and tips on how to be an effective advocate. Additional sources are also provided.

Pregnancy Prevention for Children in Foster Care
Presented by: Taylor Dudley

This presentation examines the unique needs and common outcomes among court involved children related to reproductive health. It includes a review of the legal authority and policies that support delivery of reproductive health care and educational information to these youth.

Policy Considerations in Foster Care Adoptions
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter

This presentation examines statutory guidelines and best practices for cases regarding adoption of children from foster care. The importance of siblings and relative care are addressed.

The Timing of TPR: Contemplating the Consequences of ASFA
Presented by: Melissa D. Carter, Christopher Church and The Honorable Britt Hammond
ABA Center on Children and The Law, 2nd National Parents' Attorneys Conference

This presentation explores the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and states efforts to comply. National trends regarding termination of parental rights and adoption policies are examined.


Georgia Law and Applicable Charges for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
Presented by: Kirsten L. Widner
Georgia Bureau of Investigations

This presentation examines Georgia statutes and charges as they relate to sexual exploitation of children.

Everything You Need to Know About Education
Presented by: Randee J. Waldman
December 10, 2010

This presentation explores South Carolina education law and school discipline policies. School-to-prison pipeline, school discipline, special education students, and searches and interrogations on school grounds are addressed.


Tearing Down the School to Prison Pipeline
Presented by: Randee J. Waldman

This presentation defines the school to prison pipeline, the contributing factors, its effects on students with disabilities, and strategies for dismantling the pipeline.

Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy

The Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy is a collaboration between the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children and the Barton Child Law and Policy Center to provide child welfare professionals with specialized training from leading experts in the field.

Visit the Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy web page to

  • watch videos of past Legal Academy classes;
  • register for upcoming Legal Academy classes;
  • request information about future Legal Academy classes.

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