NACC Child Welfare Law Certification
NACC Child Welfare Law Certification is available to attorneys who serve in the role of Child’s Attorney (including Guardian ad Litem, Law Guardian, Attorney ad Litem), Parent’s Attorney, and Agency / Department / Government Attorney. The specialization area 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. Child Welfare Law does not include representation in private custody and adoption disputes where the state is not a party.” To date, there are over 550 NACC Certified Child Welfare Law Specialists in 39 jurisdictions.
The NACC certification program was created and sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau and is accredited by the American Bar Association. The program has also been endorsed by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and the Conference of Chief Justices/Conference of State Court Administrators (CCJ/COSCA). The NACC also obtains the necessary authorization from state regulatory authorities such as the court, state bar association, or committee on legal specialization.
How to Become Certified
Ready to become certified? Just follow these steps:
Eligibility at a Glance
Child Welfare Law Certification is modeled after physician board certification and requires that attorneys satisfy certain requirements to apply. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most important requirements. For a complete list of requirements, please see our Certification Standards, which you’ll find on the Applicant Resources page.
Our Applicant Resources page provides you with information and tools to help guide you through the application process. You’ll find information on certification standards and the certification exam, as well as a selection of useful forms and an area submitting additional application materials.
After five years as a Child Welfare Law Specialist, certified attorneys must apply for recertification. The fee is $300, and the abridged application process does not require a writing sample or examination. For more info, visit our Recertification Info page. There, you’ll find an electronic recertification application, recertification standards, application forms, and an area where you can upload application attachments.
Already a child welfare law specialist? Why not build your own credibility while helping the CWLS program gain recognition and exposure? Our CWLS Resource page contains a variety of tools to help you promote your specialty.
CWLS Search Directory
Looking for a child welfare law specialist in your state or jurisdiction? Perhaps you're an existing CWLS member who's looking to network with like-minded professionals. Our CWLS Search Directory can help you locate a specialist near you. If you know who you're looking for, you can also search by name.
At the NACC, we are constantly working to bring a higher level of professional accountability to the field of child welfare law. In 2015, we’re focusing our efforts on expanding our certification program into the states of Pennsylvania, Minnesota, South Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio. If you’re interested in bringing Child Welfare Law Specialization to your state, please contact NACC Certification Director, Daniel Trujillo at Daniel.Trujillo@ChildrensColorado.org.
NACC Child Welfare Law Certification is currently available in the following jurisdictions: