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Middleton Center for Children's Rights Resources

The Middleton Center for Children's Rights provides resources for lawyers, judges, teachers, social workers, and the general public on issues related to children's rights.

See a list of resources by category:

Online Resources

Coalition for Family and Children's Services in Iowa – Works to influence and shape policy and practice for the betterment of Iowa children and families and the organizations that serve them

ABA Center on Children and the Law – Provides information on child law practice including foster care/adoption, child protection, and child custody

Children's Rights Council – Provides information, resources, and services on shared parenting, prevention of abuse and neglect of children, laws and legislative initiatives, court processes and alternative dispute resolutions, parenting tools and education, and more.

Best Practices in Juvenile Law: Looking at the Evidence Base – Research based guide on best interventions for clients.

First Star – Improves the lives of America’s abused and neglected children by strengthening their rights, illuminating systemic failures, and igniting necessary reforms.

Models for Change – Collaborates with selected states to advance juvenile justice reforms that effectively hold young people accountable for their actions, provide for their rehabilitation, protect them from harm, increase their life chances, and manage the risk they pose to themselves and to public safety.

National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues – Reviews child welfare practices to assist judicial districts in reaching compliance with federal and state requirements.

National Juvenile Defender Center – Provides support to public defenders, appointed counsel, law school clinical programs, and non-profit law centers to ensure quality representation. The center offers a wide range of integrated services to juvenile defenders including training, technical assistance, advocacy, networking, collaboration, and capacity building.

Prevent Child Abuse America – Provides national and state statistics on abuse.

Rand Corporation – Research on areas such as child health and the role of the family unit, neighborhoods, and community influence on child well-being.

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – Provides national leadership and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. The organization supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective prevention and intervention programs.

Legal Resources


United States Supreme Court Rulings
FindLaw: United States Supreme Court
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Cases and Resources
Federal District Court, Northern District of Iowa
Federal District Court, Southern District of Iowa    
Iowa Supreme Court Opinions


United States Supreme Court Rules
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Federal Rules of Evidence
Iowa Civil Rights Commission Rules


ABA Criminal Justice Section
American Civil Liberties Union
Anti-money Laundering Solutions (LexisNexis)
Association of Federal Defense Attorneys
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Identity Authentication (LexisNexis)
Insurance Law (LexisNexis)
Iowa Bar Association
Iowa County Attorneys Association
Law Firm Directory (
Lawyer Directory (
Legal Research (LexisNexis)
LexisNexis Legal Newsroom – Top Emerging Trends
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Legal Aid and Defender Association
Traffic Violations (


Iowa Judicial Branch
Iowa State Government
Office of the Iowa Attorney General
Office of the Iowa Secretary of State
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Labor

Social Work Resources

Social Work Terminology

NASW – National Organization of Social Workers
DHS – Iowa Department of Human Services
DHS Worker – Social worker employed by the state to manage the case.
CPA – Child Protective Assessment
CPS – Child Protective Services
CPA – Child Protective Assessment
CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate
JCO – Juvenile Court Officer
CINA – Child in Need of Assistance
FINA – Family in Need of Assistance
DCAT – Decatagorization Team (special funding source within DHS to assist children)

Service Providers

OPOrchard Place
CFIChildren and Families of Iowa
LSSLutheran Social Services
YHMAYouth Homes of Mid-America
YESSYouth Emergency Services and Shelter of Iowa
PCYSPolk County Youth Shelter
Access CenterIowa Lutheran Hospital's Children's Behavioral Health Services
EFREmployee and Family Resources
CGCCounseling for Growth and Change
Mercy Mercy Franklin Center (Short term hospitalization, day treatment, in-home services, counseling services)

Types of Services

Therapy Services – Individual therapy often done by a LISW (Licensed Social Worker) psychologist or psychiatrist in a professional office setting.
Psychosocial evaluation – Professional testing and evaluation done by a LISW or psychologist to make recommendations to the court about parenting ability and mental health status.
In-home Counseling – Counseling in the family's home, service is child-focused.
Family Preservation Services – Short, intense services usually lasting 30-45 days.
Independent Living – Apartment-based living for children who are at least 16½ years of age.
Day Treatment – Treatment for a child who remains in the home but needs structure after school.
Tracking and Monitoring – Most often when a delinquent child has to report to an adult as ordered by the court.
Residential Treatment – Long term (3-9 months) treatment where the child lives at the facility.
PMIC – Second-highest level of treatment.
Hospitalization – Highest level of treatment. Often long term and referred to as an MHI.

Additional Information

  • A LISW is a social worker licensed by the state who has a masters degree and two years of experience.
  • A child psychologist can do therapy and testing.
  • A child psychiatrist is most often used for medication and consultation in a residential and hospital setting.
  • Often multiple social workers are on each case (i.e. school social workers, agency social workers, DHS social workers).

For more information, contact Brent Pattison, director of the Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children's Rights at

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