LegalWays: Termination of Parental Rights

Lesson Duration

By Jennifer Bloom and Sally Revak

The reasons the court will use in terminating a parent’s rights are described and the steps are laid out in this lesson from the LegalWays curriculum.  The “Case Study” presents a story of a baby and her mom and asks the students to decide if parental rights should be terminated and identify alternative steps that might be taken. Additional cases are considered in the  “Mock Appellate Argument” activity. To conclude the lesson, the students are engaged in a “Mock Legislative Hearing” concerning a bill making it easier to terminate parental rights.


  • Students will understand the function of the people involved in the juvenile protection area.
  • Students will become familiar with the laws of abuse and neglect.
  • Students will learn about the legal rights and responsibilities of parents and children.
  • Students will understand the various ways in which the court system attempts to take of care of juveniles and their families.
  • Students will learn where to go for help.

Time to Complete

Two to three class periods (depending on the number of activities completed, flexible)

Materials Needed


See Juvenile Protection Teaching Guide


LegalWays curriculum was funded by Grant No. 95-JS-FX-0300 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice.


Types of especially helpful comments: How you modified this for your class, How you would improve this lesson.

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