Keith*, Carl*, and Thomas*
In addition to securing necessary services and ensuring a child client’s safety and well-being, Lawyers for Children America volunteer attorney serve their clients by relying on more traditional legal skills. In another case, a volunteer attorney represented three young boys who entered the abuse and neglect system following the murder of their mother. Allegations have been made that the father was responsible for the mother’s death. The boys established an open relationship with the volunteer attorney, to whom they expressed their fear of their father and their reluctance to testify against him. Based on this information, the volunteer attorney filed an extensive motion requesting a protective order and presented oral argument to the court. The protective order was granted, safeguarding the three boys from having to confront their father. In lieu of their testimony, the volunteer attorney retained an expert witness to testify about the devastating emotional impact of their father’s violent behavior on the children.
Lawyers for Children America volunteer attorneys’ frequent contact with the child client, the child protection agency social worker, the foster parent, the school, and others helps to ensure that the child does not fall through the cracks in a system often too overwhelmed to effectively protect the child. For individual children, Lawyers for Children America has meant not only that they have a voice in court and an advocate for needed medical, mental health, educational and other social services, but that they have a caring, consistent adult in their lives working to provide them with a stable, permanent setting in which to grow up.
*Not real names