Advocates for Children of New York, Inc.
100% Children's Law
Does Use Volunteer Attorneys
Advocates for Children of New York, Inc. (AFC) is a non-profit organization started in 1988 that provides a full-range of educational support, legal and advocacy services for parents, young people and professionals. AFC works in partnership with New York City's most impoverished and vulnerable families to secure quality and equal public education services for every public school child in New York City. AFC's program is carried out by a multi-racial, bilingual staff of attorneys, educational specialists, policy analysts and trainers. AFC utilizes a strong network of law firms to provide pro bono legal assistance for individual clients and for impact litigation.
AFC's five key program areas are individual advocacy, impact advocacy, workshops and training, public policy and informal dissemination. AFC has several programs that address different educational advocacy needs. Project Thrive, one of AFC's original programs, provides in-depth representation at the New York City Department of Education to New York City's low income families struggling to assure their children with special needs an appropriate education. Project Achieve works to ensure that children in or at-risk of placement in foster care receive access to the educational services and programs they need to succeed in the New York City public schools. The Foster Care Youth Project assures access to education services for youth transitioning out of foster care. The Project is supported by Morrison & Foerster LLP and the not-for-profit Equal Justice Works. The Immigrant Rights Project focuses on improving educational opportunities for immigrants and English Language Learner students. The Juvenile Justice Educational Advocacy Project provides court-involved youth and their families with advocacy, information, and referrals to help resolve their school difficulties and secure the educational resources to which they are entitled. Referrals come from probation officers, judges, or other juvenile justice service providers who identify an education issue that needs a specialist. The Out Of School Youth Project provides assistance to high school aged youth and young adults who have been pushed out of school. In 2005, AFC was awarded a grant from the New York Education Department to establish the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students, designed to build the capacity of school districts throughout the state to improve education of homeless youth and children.
Center for Children, Families and the Law
Hofstra University School of Law
121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
Telephone: (516) 463-0386
Fax: (516) 463-4054
75% Children's Law
Does Use Volunteer Attorneys
Founded in 2001, the Center for Children, Families and the Law began as a collaboration between Hofstra University and the North Shore-Long Island Health System. The Center's mission is to provide interdisciplinary education, community service and research to benefit children and families involved in the legal system. Five entering JD students are selected each year as Child and Family Advocacy Fellows. Fellowships are awarded to students who intend to pursue careers in child and family advocacy. The Center also trains law students to serve as child advocates through the Hofstra University Child Advocacy Clinic. Students in the Clinic represent children in abuse and neglect cases, and special immigrant juvenile matters. Students advocate in New York City and Nassau Family Courts on behalf of children in cases where the allegations range from physical and sexual abuse to educational neglect, abandonment and inadequate supervision. Cases are referred to the clinic by the Juvenile Court. The clinic is run by one attorney and a psychologist, and they utilize students from non-legal disciplines such as social work or psychology in their work.
The Center promotes important interdisciplinary research and proposed reforms through the Family Court Review, a quarterly journal sponsored by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and edited by Hofstra law students. Court reform projects include participation in a tri-state alliance of institutions focused on developing more effective court services for dissolving families, and a program of research and development in cooperation with Nassau county courts and agencies to help divorcing and separating parents manage their conflicts over their children responsibly.
The Center houses the P.E.A.C.E. (Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness) Program, a court-affiliated, interdisciplinary education program for divorcing and separating parents (a P.E.A.C.E. Program and Curriculum Manual is available through the Center). Lawyers working on a pro bono basis assist local P.E.A.C.E. providers with the presentation of the program.
In collaboration with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the Center offers practicing lawyers two training programs: "Training the Lawyer to Represent the Whole Child," and "Modern Divorce Advocacy." The Center also organizes conferences to foster dialogue between academic disciplines, policy makers and the judiciary about how children and families are treated by the legal system.