University of Pittsburgh
November 19, 2008

Pitt Law Professor to Discusses Significance of Race and National Origin in Foster Child Placement

Lecture part of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Fall 2008 Speaker Series

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Should ethnicity play a role in determining the placement of children in America's foster care and adoption systems? David Herring, a professor in Pitt's School of Law, will examine the complexities of race and social backgrounds in the nation's child welfare programs during a lecture titled "The Multiethnic Placement Act: Threat to Foster Child Safety and Wellbeing?" from noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP), 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The lecture will focus on the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994, a federal law that expressly prohibits public child welfare agencies from delaying or denying a child foster care or adoptive placement on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The event, a continuation of the Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney Fall 2008 Speaker Series, is free and open to the public. Registration is not required and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact 412-624-7382.

Herring, who served as dean of Pitt's School of Law from 1999 to 2005, has written extensively on child welfare law issues. He is the author of "Everyday Law for Children"(Paradigm Publishers, 2006) and "The Public Family: Exploring Its Role in Democratic Society" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003), as well as numerous articles in such scholarly publications as the "Quinnipiac Law Review", "Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal", "Toledo Law Review", "Jurimetrics", and "The University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform".

Herring earned his BBA and JD degrees at the University of Michigan in 1980 and 1985, respectively. He has served as a law clerk to Judge William R. Beasley of the Michigan Court of Appeals and as an assistant state attorney in the criminal appeals division of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Chicago, Ill. Since becoming a faculty member in Pitt's School of Law in 1990, he has initiated the school's clinic programs: the Child Welfare Law Clinic, the Community Economic Development Clinic, the Elder Law Clinic, the Environmental Law Clinic, the Family Law Clinic, the Health Law Clinic, and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

CRSP is part of Pitt's School of Social Work. Its mission is to conduct applied social science research on race, color, and ethnicity and their influence on the quality of life for all Americans. CRSP offers two lecture series each year in order to provide an opportunity for faculty, students, and community members to engage in race-related discussions of mutual interest.