ABA Center on Children and the Law
American Bar Association
1050 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: (202) 662-1720
Funded by the ABA Young Lawyers Division in 1978, the ABA Center on Children and The Law’s Mission is to promote access to justice for children and families. The Center’s team of attorneys and core staff work on a diverse portfolio of national, regional and local projects in the children’s law field throughout the country. Center projects are unified by two complementary goals: improving legal representation and improving the legal systems that impact children and families.
No direct representation of clients is undertaken by the Center. The Center also houses the National Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues. This Resource Center provides free or low-cost training, technical assistance and consultation to agencies and courts on all legal and judicial aspects of the child welfare system.
Center staff provides technical assistance and consultation to attorneys, judges, and child protection professionals, produces a wide range of publications and scholarly policy studies, has an extensive training program and holds a bi-annual national conference on children and the law. Topics addressed by the center include: abuse and neglect, adoption, child support, custody disputes, delinquency, family preservation, guardian ad litem, HIV-positive children, kinship care and foster care, law guardian, parental child abduction, and permanency planning.
The Center works with state child welfare agencies to train attorneys and social workers, and has conducted extensive child welfare policy studies to assist states updating their child welfare laws and procedures. After performing a policy study, the center can recommend and help implement changes – including drafting legislation, court rules, and policy standards, and preparing attorney and caseworker training based on new laws, policies and practices.
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Since 1972, the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has advocated for the civil rights, full inclusion and equality of adults and children with mental disabilities. The Center was pivotal in expanding the civil rights movement to include fighting discrimination against, and segregation of, people with mental disabilities. Today, the Bazelon Center accomplishes its goals through a unique combination of litigation, public policy advocacy, coalition building and leadership, public education, media outreach and technical assistance. The Center focuses its efforts on the following areas: Education, Mental Health Systems and Criminal Justice.
Break the Cycle
Break the Cycle provides legal services to young survivors of dating abuse in Los Angeles, CA, and Washington, DC. Its legal services are free and are available to young people who are:
- 12 to 24 years old
- Living in the Los Angeles County or Washington, DC metropolitan area
- Seeking help because of dating abuse, domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault
Break the Cycle attorneys assist survivors of abuse with the following legal issues:
- Protection or restraining orders
- Violations of protection orders
- Child custody
- Child support; Divorce
- Criminal case advocacy
- Title IX (school) advocacy
Break the Cycle attorneys also work closely with clients to ensure that their non-legal needs are met through safety planning and referrals to local domestic violence and social services. Break the Cycle has no income eligibility requirements. We will provide bilingual help or interpreters at no cost to clients as needed; immigration status is not relevant to determining client eligibility.
Center for Children’s Law and Policy
The Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) is a public interest law and policy organization focused on reform of juvenile justice and other systems that affect troubled and at-risk children, and protection of the rights of children in those systems. Staff members include lawyers and former juvenile justice professionals with extensive expertise in creating a more equitable and effective juvenile justice system. CCLP’s staff members are on the ground in over a dozen states, in addition to engaging in national advocacy. The organization has played a central role in major foundation-funded juvenile justice initiatives in the United States, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI).