By order dated February 14, 2017, the Supreme Court of Texas added Child Welfare Law as a new specialty area under the jurisdiction of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. “Child welfare law” involves litigating suits under Title 5, Subtitle E of the Texas Family Code and issues that arise in suits by a governmental entity for the protection of an abused or neglected child, including but not limited to the possession and conservatorship of a child, the termination of parental rights, the placement of a child in foster care, or the adoption of a child.

To a large degree the recognition of this new specialty represents the culmination of more than 30 years of efforts by Texas courts, the bar, and the legislature to improve the State’s child protection system. One of these efforts was the creation in 1985 of the State Bar’s Standing Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, which has initiated or supported numerous initiatives to improve the knowledge and professionalism of lawyers representing children, parents, and the state in the child protection system. That committee supports the creation of this proposed section.