CAI's Ed Howard Quoted in The Mercury News Article on Alameda County Refusing to Turn over CPS Documents

Ed Howard, Senior Counsel/Senior Policy Advocate at CPIL

OAKLAND (February 26, 2018) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law's Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI) was mentioned in an article in The Mercury News  that reported on Alameda County's refusal to release CPS records.  Senior CAI lobbyist Ed Howard was also quoted. 

According to the article, state law requires public agencies to release records of foster children who have died from abuse or neglect. Alameda County refused to turn over documents to the news agency on a 3-year old Oakland toddler who died in foster care in Stockton.

The article states, SB 39 was enacted in 2008 and requires California child welfare agencies to release certain records about any child who dies from abuse or neglect.  The law creates transparency in what was previously a secret process with CPS records and how children’s cases were confidentially handled.

Ed Howard, senior counsel with the Children’s Advocacy Institute co-wrote SB 39, and stated, “It appears as though San Joaquin County did not have the files on the girl from Alameda County. This is both morally unacceptable and illegal. Alameda prevented decision-makers in San Joaquin County with life or death power over the child from having all the information they needed. And, San Joaquin should have insisted that it obtain the information. Both counties have failed this child in this regard and all children are at mortal risk if this indefensible practice endures one more day.”

According to the article, SB 39 empowers Alameda County Board of Supervisors to launch a probe into the handling of this case.

Read the full article here.


About the Children’s Advocacy Institute

The Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), founded at the nonprofit University of San Diego School of Law in 1989, is one of the nation's premiere academic, research, and advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of children and youth, with special emphasis on improving the child protection and foster care systems and enhancing resources that are available to youth aging out of foster care.

In its academic component, CAI trains law students and attorneys to be effective child advocates throughout their legal careers. Its Child Advocacy Clinic gives USD Law students three distinct clinical opportunities to advocate on behalf of children and youth, and its Dependency Counsel Training Program provides comprehensive training to licensed attorneys engaged in or contemplating Dependency Court practice.

CAI's research and advocacy component, conducted through its offices in San Diego, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C., seeks to leverage change for children and youth through impact litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and public education. Active primarily at the federal and state levels, CAI's efforts are multi-faceted—comprehensively and successfully embracing all tools of public interest advocacy to improve the lives of children and youth. To support CAI’s work, please visit

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


Katie Pinto
(619) 260-4207


Contact Us

Phone: (619) 260-4527

View Directory

83° 61°

Visit Campus

Warren Hall, Room 201
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110