Termination of Parental Rights: A Commentary on Ben-David

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Journal of Family Social Work, 18(4), 243-252

Choate, Peter W.

Journal article

Ben-David (this issue) introduced us to the complexity of the factors that courts consider in termination of parental rights (TPR). It is an opening to understanding which factors are taken into consideration and how courts make these challenging determinations. Yet there are other questions that must be asked before we truly understand the TPR decisions made by courts across a variety of legal jurisdictions. This commentary argues that we must take the inquiry deeper, asking questions that will unpack the complexity assisting researchers and clinicians. Thus, we will want to know how courts weigh such important issues as the credibility of the evidence. What is it about such factors as parental competence, failure of remediation, and other issues identified by Ben-David that cause courts to determine TPR is the best choice? Consideration is given to how Ben-David’s work might be extended using a Canadian perspective.

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