A Role for Communities in Reasonable Efforts to Prevent Removal

Main Article Content

Shanta Trivedi
Matthew Fraidin


Ostensibly, the "child welfare system" exists to safeguard the well-being of minors. However, child welfare agencies often exercise their authority by removing children in the aftermath of family crises that less disruptive upstream interventions could have mitigated. Children from low-income families are over-represented in the child welfare system; they are removed too frequently from communities that have been systemically marginalized. 

Author Biographies

Shanta Trivedi

Shanta Trivedi spent 3.5 years as a clinical teaching fellow at the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Bronfein Family Law Clinic, then served as a clinical teaching fellow in the Domestic Violence Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, before rejoining the UBalt faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Family, Children and the Courts in 2021. Prior to focusing on teaching and scholarship, Trivedi spent nearly a decade in various types of legal practice. She was a staff attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services’ Family Defense Practice, representing parents embroiled in the child welfare system. Through this work, she tackled a myriad of challenges facing low-income, minority and otherwise disadvantaged families and developed her scholarly interests in family separation. Prior to this, Trivedi also volunteered for Sanctuary for Families in New York, representing survivors of domestic violence and serving as co-chair of their Pro Bono Council LGBT committee. Her first job out of law school was as an associate working in commercial and securities law at Winston & Strawn LLP in New York. During her time there, she dedicated countless hours to pro bono projects for organizations including the Innocence Project and Human Rights First, and personally secured asylum for a Gambian refugee persecuted for speaking out against his government. As a law student, she became interested in poverty and constitutional law issues and worked as research assistant for a renowned Fourth Amendment scholar, assisting with projects related to racial profiling and illegal searches and seizures.  Trivedi received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law and graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and a minor in Psychology.

Matthew Fraidin

Matthew I. Fraidin
Professor of Law

B.A., Haverford College, 1987; J.D., University of Wisconsin, 1993.

Professor Fraidin served from 2017-20 as Associate Dean of Experiential and Clinical Programs and teaches Civil Procedure, Torts and the Externship seminar. He previously served as co-director of the General Practice Clinic and director of the former HIV/AIDS Clinic, and has also taught Professional Responsibility and Katrina and Beyond: Disaster Prevention and Recovery, Social Justice & Government Accountability. Prior to joining the School of Law, Professor Fraidin served as Legal Director of The Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., Supervising Attorney at The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, and Associate Counsel to Vice President Al Gore. Professor Fraidin served as law clerk to Hon. Juan M. Perez-Gimenez in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

Professor Fraidin frequently addresses local and national groups about family law, lawyering skills, and clinical legal education. Professor Fraidin’s speeches, presentations and activities include keynote addresses at the District of Columbia Neglect and Delinquent Practice Institute, New Mexico’s Children’s Law Institute, and National Association of Counsel for Children annual conference.

Professor Fraidin has served as an invited guest lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Law, William and Mary School of Law, American University Washington College of Law, and The University of Wisconsin School of Law, as a Visiting Professor in the Domestic Violence Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center.

An expert in the areas of kinship care, child custody, and child abuse and neglect, Professor Fraidin has testified before the U.S. Senate and the D.C. Council about a variety of proposed legislation. Professor Fraidin has been interviewed on Washington, D.C. area radio and television programs and quoted in numerous newspaper articles on the subjects of child abuse and neglect and family law. Professor Fraidin served as a Discussion group leader at the Fourth Annual Conference of American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law National Project to Improve Representation of Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System. Professor Fraidin is Director of the District of Columbia Child Abuse and Neglect Moot Court Project.

Professor Fraidin currently serves as Chair of the School of Law Academic Standards Committee. He is also a member of the Faculty Evaluation and Retention Committee.

Professor Fraidin is active in several local advocacy organizations. He serves on the board of the D.C. Affordable Law Firm. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law National Project to Improve Representation of Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System.

Article Details

How to Cite
Shanta Trivedi, & Matthew Fraidin. (2022). A Role for Communities in Reasonable Efforts to Prevent Removal. Columbia Journal of Race and Law, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.52214/cjrl.v12i1.9470