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UDC Law Associate Dean LaShanda Adams Named 2019 Fulbright Scholar

Thursday, March 21, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: UDC Law Staff
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LaShanda Adams

LaShanda T. Adams, UDC Law Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has been named a 2019 Fulbright Scholar by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. Early next year, Dean Adams will journey to South Australia – a state in south-central Australia – to conduct an intensive three-month comparative study of South Australian and American efforts to reorient child protection systems toward early intervention and family support services.

The Australian Centre for Child Protection, Australia’s premier research center for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, will host Dean Adams during the course of her study. The Centre is based out of the University of South Australia in Adelaide, the state capital, home to most of South Australia’s population. The state’s overburdened child welfare system includes approximately 3,500 youth – about 1,160 of whom are indigenous Australian children – in out-of-home care. To address the crisis, South Australia passed legislation in 2017 to reorient the state’s child protection system toward early intervention and support services.

Dean Adams will evaluate the implementation of the 2017 legislation in the context of ongoing child protection systems-reform efforts in the U.S. Through intensive case reviews, one-on-one engagement with state-involved children and families, and program assessment for cultural competency and effectiveness, Dean Adams will assess how the South Australian Department for Child Protection’s implementation of the legislation affects children and families with chronic and repeat involvement in the child welfare system as well as the many indigenous Australian children and families involved with the state child protection system.

Dean Adams was selected for the prestigious award based on her decades-long experience in the field. She is a nationally recognized expert on child welfare law and policy, having published widely on child protection systems and children’s rights in leading journals such as the Family Court Review, Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, and NYU Review of Law and Social Change, among many others.

Dean Adams joined the UDC Law faculty in 2009 after ten years representing children and families at leading public interest organizations such as the ABA Center on Children and the Law. Dean Adams received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Spelman College, and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar and Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellow. While at NYU Law, Dean Adams was also awarded the Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service, named for the late civil rights lawyer and critical race theorist Derrick Bell, who served as her law professor and longtime mentor. Upon graduating with her J.D. at NYU Law, Dean Adams began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow with The Children’s Law Center in the District of Columbia to develop a kinship caregiver representation project, where she later served as an attorney and Director of the Family Permanency Office.


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