2003 Recipients of Child Custody Pro Bono Minigrants
- Children's Law Center (Covington, Kentucky): $5,000 - The Pro Bono Child Custody Project is enhancing its ability to provide representation to children by
- increasing judicial collaboration through dialogue, educational materials and dissemination of ethical standards of practice for attorneys representing children; and
- initiating the use of law and social work students to be placed with pro bono panel attorneys.
- The Children's Law Center (Washington, D.C.): $10,000 - The Pro Bono Guardian Ad Litem Project represents low-income children in domestic violence and custody cases in the District of Columbia. The Project will recruit and train volunteer attorneys to serve as guardians ad litem, serve as the intake and referral coordinator for the court, and provide ongoing mentoring to pro bono attorneys.
- The Law Foundation of Prince George's County, MD (Hyattsville, Maryland): $10,000 - The Guardian Ad Litem pro bono project is creating a corps of volunteer attorneys to represent children in contested custody cases in Prince George's County. The project provides training, certification, mentoring and support services for the pro bono attorneys. The project envisions offering monthly training sessions for volunteers
- Legal Aid of East Tennessee (Knoxville, Tennessee): $3,500 - The Domestic Violence Custody Project is a collaborative initiative between Legal Aid of East Tennessee and the General Sessions /Juvenile Court for Bradley County, Tennessee. The Project will provide pro bono legal representation to children in domestic violence/protective order custody cases and in paternity/legitimation custody cases where domestic violence is involved. A key component of the program will be recruiting, training and mentoring lawyers so they understand the differences between representing children as opposed to parents in custody disputes, the dynamics of domestic violence and other legal issues surrounding the representation of children.
- Put Something Back (Miami, Florida): $5,000 - A joint pro bono project of the Dade County Bar Association and the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Put Something Back provides volunteer attorneys as guardians ad litem (GAL) in domestic violence cases for children who are victims of or witnesses to domestic violence. The grant will expand the existing GAL program and develop a special domestic violence GAL panel for investigating and reporting findings to the Court when a child seeks an injunction against a parent, guardian or caretaker.
- Support Center for Child Advocates (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania): $5,000 - The Kinship Care Project helps children living with relative caregivers due to issues of parental mistreatment, addiction, and incarceration as well as family violence and HIV/AIDS. The project provides direct legal representation to children in the Philadelphia Court system and develops policies and practices that support kinship families. This grant will help provide follow-up monitoring and evaluation of assisted families to insure that they remain outside the formal child welfare system and progress successfully toward legal custody, adoption, or long-term placement.
- Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii, Na Keiki (The Children's) Law Center Project (Honolulu, Hawaii): $5,000 - The grant will provide education and training to the courts on how attorneys can better advocate on behalf of needy children. The project will provide training for judges on the issues involved in Guardian Ad Litem cases and demonstrate the necessity of providing a separate voice for children in these cases. These trainings will include discussions on best practice advocacy for children and how other states are successfully representing children.