Bumpy Ride in Wyoming for Bills to Create Parent and Child Representation Offices

Just days into Wyoming’s legislative session, bills to expand legal counsel to children and parents in child welfare court were killed by a lack of support. But half of the package has already been raised from the dead.

News Story (Wyoming)

Kim Phagan-Hansel
Chronicle of Social Change (CA)
February 14, 2020

Tags: Child Welfare


Wyoming GALs represent children involved in child welfare and juvenile justice cases, while public defenders often represent the children’s parents or relatives.

“There is no monetary involvement, this is strictly a separation of offices to eliminate conflict of interest,” said Sen. R.J. Kost (R), who introduced the bill on the Senate floor.

HB 17 would have created a similar standalone parent representation program, providing representation for parents whose children enter the foster care or juvenile justice systems. That bill would have required an add to the biennium budget of $5.4 million.