Volume 125 of the West Virginia Law Review is now accepting proposals for our 2023 Symposium, organized by the West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, West Virginia. We are seeking proposals for our 2023 Symposium Publication discussing Child Advocacy and Juvenile Justice Law and its impact on youth in rural communities. While this is not limited to any subtopics within Child Advocacy or Juvenile Justice, and we welcome all papers touching on the subject as it relates to rural communities, below are potential subtopics to provide clarity for those who are interested in submitting a proposal.
1. Child Abuse and Neglect
A rising number of children in rural areas are at risk or subject to abuse or neglect in their homes and may require advocacy to access services such as protection, shelter, nutrition, or healthcare treatment. Proposals that address policy and impact litigation; novel strategies or reforms to protect children from familial substance abuse, domestic violence, or sexual abuse or sexual assault; reform to the judicial intervention system; and the role of Guardians Ad Litem are appreciated.
2. Foster Care and Adoption
Proposals discussing legal or policy reforms to foster care and adoption systems; strategies to improve outcomes for children in foster care; legislative or policy initiatives to increase racial equity; and multidisciplinary approaches to reducing a child’s involvement in foster care or adoption systems are welcomed.
3. Juvenile Justice Reform
Proposals discussing reform to the juvenile justice system, including novel community-based approaches to reform; strategies and policies to reduce youth incarceration; and legislative or policy initiatives to reduce racial and gender inequalities in the juvenile justice system are greatly appreciated.
4. Education, School Reform, and Special Needs
With the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, increased emphasis on standardized testing, rising rates of violence in schools, and the introduction of legislation aimed at regulating classroom conduct, legal advocacy in education is essential to addressing challenges faced by today’s youth. Proposals that address access to education; nondiscriminatory instruction and testing; special education reforms; and legislation addressing classroom conduct are welcomed.
5. Child Trafficking and Labor Exploitation
Proposals discussing policy, legal, and legislative initiatives to combat exploitative practices linked to child labor, labor trafficking, or debt bondage, including prevention and detection of these practices; effective and comprehensive responses to victimization; access to culturally appropriate and trauma-informed services for victims; and the intersection with immigration reform and immigration law are welcomed.
6. Equity for Gender-Diverse Youth
Proposals addressing access to gender-affirming healthcare, gender-related healthcare, affirming social networks, and access to mental healthcare for LGBTQ+ or gender-diverse youth in rural communities are appreciated.
The deadline to submit proposals is December 31, 2022.
Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis. We are interested in both papers for publication and potential panelists and speakers for our 2023 symposium.
The symposium will take place at the West Virginia University College of Law on March 30-31, 2023. We look forward to your proposals!