In the Interest of Children Advocacy, Law Reform, and Public Policy

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Is litigation a sensible way to improve policies affecting children and youth? The Supreme Court has declared that "neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor the Bill of Rights is for adults alone," and since the landmark desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education, advocates have increasingly used "test-case" litigation not simply to enforce an individual's rights but as a tool to change policy.

In the Interest of Children provides a compelling introduction to the workings of the legal system and to five crucial areas of contemporary policy concern relating to children: foster care, teenage pregnancy and abortion, school discipline, institutions for the mentally retarded, and the welfare system. By focusing on only five cases, the field research of the author and his nationally-known contributors exposes the often surprising human stories that lie beneath the judicial opinions. The book explores the dilemmas necessarily involved in formulating policies for the benefit of children, and critically analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of litigation as a means of achieving reform.


"A fascinating glimpse in to the stories behind five landmark child advocacy cases. . . . This book raises some disturbing questions about how to determine what is best for the child." – Frank E.A. Sander, Harvard Law School

In the Interest of Children Attributes

Author: Robert H. Mnookin, Robert A. Burt, David L. Chambers, Michael S. Wald, Stephen D. Sugarman, Franklin E. Zimring, and Rayman L. Solomon
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: PON Books, 1996 MA: PON Books, 1996