Family Law

Family Law News 2018, Issue 3, Volume 40, No. 3

Postadoption Contact Agreements (PACAs) After 20 Years

John B. Nieman

John B. Nieman, Esq., is a Dependency Advocacy Center Founder and has been working in Santa Clara County’s dependency system as an attorney and supervisor for over 18 years. He has partnered and collaborated locally and statewide on numerous workgroups, committees, and task forces in areas. He served as faculty for National Counsel for Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Administrative Office of the Courts. Mr. Nieman holds an MS in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, a School Counseling Credential. He represented youth in juvenile justice court prior to doing dependency work and worked for several years with children as a substitute teacher and sports coach.

Ihad the privilege to sit down to lunch with one of our nation’s premier adoption advocates, Kate Cleary, on Wednesday, January 31. Kate is Executive Director of The Consortium for Children (Consortium), a nonprofit organization in San Rafael dedicated to helping to achieve permanency for foster youth. Kate was named "Child Advocate of the Year" by the North American Counsel on Adoptable Children in 2007. She won the "Adoption Excellence Award" from the U.S. Department of Human Services in 2010, the "Angel in Adoption Award" from the U.S. Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2016, and the "Children First Award" from the National Counsel for Adoption in 2017. Kate has participated broadly in promoting adoptions and best practices in permanency planning on the international, national, state, and local level for many years.

Kate is perhaps best known for her S.A.F.E program, a systemic procedure that ensures efficient yet comprehensive adoptive home studies, mandatory in 34 states. The Consortium has also been performing permanency planning mediations that frequently lead to formation of postadoption contact agreements (PACA’s) literally since the California Legislature created them in 1998. In fact, Kate was instrumental in the development of the legislation.

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