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Cornerstones of Interdisciplinary Prevention Advocacy


Katie Joh
Sarah Cook
Hilary Kushins
External Resource


American Bar Association
February 9, 2023


Practice Guidance
Racial and Gender Equity

The Dependency Advocacy Center in San Jose, California, offers prevention programs to support families and avoid family separation and court involvement. The DAC approach includes an interdisciplinary team consisting of attorneys, social workers, and mentor parents who provide legal counsel, clinical expertise, and support to parents. They focus on fighting poverty and racial inequity, hiring bilingual staff, and connecting clients with culturally competent service providers. Their prevention programs prioritize client self-determination and advocate creatively to address the underlying causes that lead to involvement with the child welfare system. The movement to prevent entry into the child welfare system is building momentum across the nation, but the specifics of what that work ought to look like are still emerging. It is our hope that this overview of the prevention work at Dependency Advocacy Center might be a useful contribution in building best practices for preventive representation and support.