8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 Overcoming Implicit Bias in the Juvenile Justice System*
Chief Judge Elizabeth T. Trosch, North Carolina District Court, Charlotte
Judge Donald R. Cureton Jr., North Carolina District Court, Charlotte
Justice being blind or impartial is a hallmark of our American court system. However, studies show implicit bias is present in our justice system — including in the juvenile justice system. Judges Trosch and Cureton explore ways in which implicit bias shows up in the judicial system, how implicit bias impacts juvenile justice in North Carolina, and practical solutions to overcome bias.
10:40 Disproportionate Impact/Treatment of Minority and Disabled Students
Cari E. Carson, Advocates for Children's Services – Legal Aid of North Carolina, Durham
Jennifer R. Story, Advocates for Children's Services – Legal Aid of North Carolina, Durham
Statistics illustrate disproportionalities and disparities in the treatment and outcomes of minority and disabled students. Discipline disparities, disproportionalities in special education and gaps in achievement are three areas where our education system struggles. The COVID-19 pandemic has acerbated these and other educational challenges. This session discusses those topics and provides education law practitioners and other attorneys who represent juveniles with tools and strategies to advocate for juveniles' educational needs.
11:35 Panel Discussion: Crossover Youth and the Impacts in Minority Communities
Sara A. DePasquale, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill
Mary G. Holliday, Jackson County Department of Social Services, Webster
Lyana G. Hunter, New Hanover County Office of the Public Defender, Wilmington
Eric J. Zogry, North Carolina Office of the Juvenile Defender, Raleigh (Moderator)
Minority juveniles are overrepresented in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Juveniles' and families' challenges are compounded when they are involved with both systems. This session helps attorneys representing juveniles and families to navigate and advocate in both systems.
12:35 Lunch Break
1:05 Panel Discussion: Overrepresentation of Minority Families in the Child Welfare System
Derrik Anderson, Race Matters for Juvenile Justice, Charlotte
Christina Harrison, North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program, Raleigh
Reginald D. "Reggie" O'Rourke, North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program, Raleigh (Moderator)
Wendy Sotolongo, North Carolina Parent Representation Coordinator, Durham
Statistics show that 33 percent of children in foster care in the United States are African American, but these children make up only 15 percent of the child population. Numerous studies have shown that not only is there disproportionality in child welfare cases, but that racial disparities also occur at various decision points in the child welfare continuum. This session reviews recent child welfare statistics in North Carolina, examines approaches attorneys can use to address racial disparities, and discusses strategies for being more responsive to the needs of minority children and families in abuse, neglect and dependency proceedings.
2:00 Looking Forward: The Impact and Implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act
Lisa Cauley, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh
The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 ("Family First Act" or "Family First") significantly changes how the child welfare system is funded and operates. Family First prioritizes the importance of children living with families and includes a number of provisions related to prevention services, foster care placement and transition from foster care. This session details North Carolina's plans for implementation of the act this year and notes important impacts for child welfare attorneys and practitioners.
*Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit