Children's Rights Litigation

Georgia

Barton Child Law and Policy Center

Emory University School of Law
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA  30322
Telephone:  404 727 6664
Email:            info@bartoncenter.net
Website:       http://bartoncenter.net/

The Barton Child Law and Policy Center promotes and protects the legal rights and interests of children who are involved with the juvenile court, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems. The Center's work is directed by Emory Law faculty and performed by law and other graduate students who participate in reform initiatives and holistic client representation by conducting research; advocating for individual clients; writing articles, policy papers, and other informational materials; and analyzing and drafting legislation and policy directives.

Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.

54 Ellis St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone:    (404) 524-5811
Email:              info@antlantalegalaid.org
Website:         www.atlantalegalaid.org

Does use volunteer attorneys

Atlanta Legal Aid Society serves children who have an active delinquency, dependency or status offense case at the Fulton County Juvenile Court. They work in partnership with the child, the child’s family, the probation officer and the attorney representing the child in the active case to identify the underlying needs that led to court involvement, and advocates (and litigates if necessary) on the child’s behalf to ensure that these needs are met.

Aside from handling cases, volunteer attorneys assist in trial preparation and case investigation. The office also utilizes volunteer law students and other professionals. Trainings for volunteers are provided as needed. The office does accept calls from the public and from children seeking legal information. Clients are referred from juvenile court, social service agencies, schools, health care professionals, clients themselves or other attorneys.

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation

235 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 1750
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone:    (404) 521-0790
Email:              info@avlf.org
Website:         www.avlf.org

15% children’s law

Does use volunteer attorneys

The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) was established as an independent non- profit organization in 1979 through an initiative of a local bar association. In the Guardian Ad Litem Program, pro bono attorneys represent the best interest of children whose parents are disputing custody in Fulton Superior Court in Atlanta. The One Child, One Lawyer Program provides representation to children whose parents are in the drug court system. Such children are generally removed from their homes, and AVLF provides attorneys ad litem to represent the best interest of the children throughout the entirety of their legal case. The program trains volunteers and provides ongoing support, including case consultation and continuing education seminars.

The Advocacy in Education Program educates the public about the educational rights of children with special needs and provides legal counsel for the direct representation of qualified families who are concerned that their child may not be receiving the special education that is demanded by law. Pro bono attorneys also represent teenage girls in juvenile courts through referrals from Planned Parenthood.

Clients are referred to AVLF through the courts, social service agencies, other attorneys and former clients. Volunteer attorneys are actively recruited through the local bar, law firms, law schools and seminars to represent children. Volunteers work independently, reporting progress and results to the staff in writing, and call for back up assistance when needed. The two staff attorneys are assisted by one paralegal, two support staff, and law students.

DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center

Gregory A. Adams Juvenile Justice Center                           
4309 Memorial Drive – Third Floor
Decatur, Georgia  30032
Phone:          404.294.2646                                                                       
Email:            dccac@dekalbcountyga.gov
Website:       https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/child-advocacy-center/welcome

100% Children’s Law

The DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center provides legal representation and ongoing advocacy for children in foster care.  Our goal is to protect the legal rights of child-clients, advocate for resources that improve their well-being outcomes and provide them with permanent, safe and stable homes.

The DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center (DCCAC) represents the legal rights and best interests of abused and neglected children in all dependency matters before the DeKalb County Juvenile Court.  Child-clients are generally placed in the legal custody of the Department of Family and Children Services (foster care), and are physically placed in foster homes, group homes, and therapeutic institutions, or with biological and fictive relatives.  DCCAC attorneys, investigators and support staff investigate allegations of abuse and litigate dependency cases that are before the Juvenile Court.  The DCCAC also provides ongoing case monitoring and advocacy by collaborating with multidisciplinary stakeholders to ensure that our clients’ wellbeing needs are met and that permanent homes and caretakers are identified.

Fulton County's Office of the Child Attorney

395 Pryor Street, Suite 4098
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
Telephone:  404 612 4756
Website:       https://www.fultoncountyga.gov/inside-fulton-county/fulton-county-departments/child-attorney

The mission of Fulton County's Office of the Child Attorney is to zealously and effectively advocate for the legal rights and protections of child clients alleged to be abused and/or neglected throughout the entire dependency process in Fulton County Juvenile Court as mandated by Kenny A. v. Perdue, the Georgia Constitution and Georgia law.

The Office of the Child Attorney dates back to the early 1990's when “Child Advocate Attorneys” were managed by the Fulton County Juvenile Court.

In 2006, the Kenny A. Consent Decree resolved ongoing litigation over the representation of children in Fulton County Juvenile Court. During that time the Office was managed by the Public Defender's Office. The Office of the Child Attorney currently employs a multi-disciplinary staff which includes eighteen attorneys, four investigators, one social worker, one educational advocate, and four administrative staff persons, all under the guidance of a Director.

Health Law Partnership

Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite
975 Johnson Ferry Rd., Suite 360
Atlanta, GA 30342
Telephone:     (404) 705-0000
Website:          https://healthlawpartnership.org/about-us/locations/

100% children’s law

Does use volunteer attorneys

The Georgia State University College of Law, together with partners Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, created the Health Law Partnership (HeLP) in 2004 to improve the health and social well-being of low-income children and their families in Georgia. One of HeLP’s underlying premises is that by combining the health care expertise of hospital professionals with the legal expertise of attorneys, HeLP can provide a more holistic set of services to address the multiple determinants of children’s health.

Help provides on-site legal services through three offices located at hospitals operated by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Help Legal Services Clinic is a live-client clinic located at Georgia State University’s College of Law. Law and health care graduate students participate in the clinic for course credit, and work under close attorney supervision. The clinic explores federal and state laws and policies that can affect children's health and well-being, such as public benefits, income support, health insurance, family law, employment, housing, and education.

In addition to direct legal services, HeLP works to strengthen the long-term effectiveness of the legal services component by training law and health care professionals to understand and address the social needs and legal rights of low-income children and their families. HeLP provides an interdisciplinary in-service educational program about the legal, ethical, and policy issues that affect children’s health and well-being. This program includes in-service training and education for health care professionals at Children’s, Children’s social work staff, volunteer attorneys who work with HeLP, and medical residents and students in training at Children’s. These presentations cover topics such as family law, housing law, public benefits, and special education. In addition to providing representation to children, volunteer attorneys provide research on substantive legal issues and prepare and present education seminars for health providers on matters of law affecting health and well-being of children.

HeLP advocacy efforts focus on work at the legislative, policy-making, and government agency levels on issues such as Medicaid, Georgia’s S-Chip Program (Peachcare For Kids), health insurance coverage issues, and other changes in law and regulations designed to improve the overall health and well-being of children.

Immigrant Juvenile Program

Catholic Charities - Atlanta
680 W. Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
Telephone:     (404) 881-6571
Website:          https://catholiccharitiesatlanta.org/2015/08/05/immigrant-juvenile-program/

10% children’s law

Does use volunteer attorneys

This program represents children detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in their immigration proceedings before an immigration judge. The project also trains and educates area courts, DFCS case workers, Casa’s, and other service providers on what relief is available to children found in this country without proper documentation. The office is staffed by two full-time attorneys, one part-time attorney, two paralegals and two volunteers, who receive case referrals from social service agencies, ICE, and family and children services. Volunteer attorneys are trained as needed to handle approximately one case per year, and cases are monitored through self-reporting and staff phone calls. Additionally, volunteer lawyers handle appeals and staff a clinic. Law students and other volunteer professionals are utilized as well.