Barton Child Law and Policy Center Newsletter
Dear Child Advocates, this update contains:
Upcoming Legislative Hearings
Next Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy August 9
Georgia Chosen to Participate in National Study
Georgia Judge Selected for NCJFCJ Leadership
Student Reflection: Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program
Follow Us on Twitter!
House Judiciary to Hold Two Hearings on HB 641 
The House Judiciary Committee has announced that it will hold two hearings on the Child Protection and Public Safety Act, HB 641 during the special legislative session this August.  The hearings will be held on Tuesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 25 at 2pm in room 132 of the Capitol.


To learn more about efforts to rewrite Georgia's Children's Code, visit the JUSTGeorgia website


Next Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy August 9, 2011


The Law and Policy of Pregnancy Prevention in Foster Care


Registration is now open for the next session of the GA Child Welfare Legal Academy on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, from 1:00 until 3:15 p.m.  Ensuring a child or young person's medical welfare is among the most imperative of state obligations to children in its care. Pregnancy prevention is a unique component of medical welfare and long-term wellbeing.  Taylor Dudley, Robin Nash Post-graduate Fellow in Law, will present.  


Click here to register or for more details.

Seating is limited:  Online registration is strongly encouraged. The registration fee for all participants is $10.

Parking:Your parking will be validated for 3 hours. Parking is limited to the Hospital Visitor deck, Lowergate (not Lowergate South).  Please reference for parking information and driving directions.

CLE credit:  2.0 regular CLE credits will be offered for this program for an additional fee of $10.00 payable by cash or check on-site.




Georgia Chosen to Participate in National Study on Best Practices in the Legal Representation of Children


Georgia has been selected as one of two Research and Demonstration sites for the National Quality Improvement Center on the Representation of Children in the Child Welfare System.

The National Quality Improvement Center (QIC-ChildRep) is a collaboration of the U.S. Children's Bureau and the University of Michigan School of Law to gather information on child representation, promote consensus on the role of the child's legal representative, and provide one of the first empirically-based analyses of how legal representation for the child might best be delivered in abuse and neglect cases.


As a Research and Demonstration site, Georgia will receive a grant to participate in a four-year study to evaluate the effectiveness of the QIC Best-Practice Model of Child Representation. The study, anticipated to begin in early 2012, will involve more than 100 Georgia attorneys and will be conducted by a partnership of the Committee on Justice for Children, the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University School of Law and the Georgia Association of Counsel for Children.


The State of Washington has been selected as the second Research and Demonstration site.

For more information on QIC-ChildRep go to The QIC Best-Practice Model of Child Representation can be found at:


Georgia Judge Selected for National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges


The Barton Center congratulates our former Senior Fellow, Judge Peggy Walker, who was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges at the Council's 74th national conference in New York City. Over the next five years, the Juvenile Court Judge from Douglas County will hold the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President, respectively.

Founded in 1937, the mission of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is to provide all judges, courts, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is the nation's oldest judicial membership organization and today boasts a membership of nearly 2,000 judges and related professionals.


Georgia has a notable history of national leadership on children and family issues. Judge Walker follows in the footsteps of other Georgia juvenile court judges. In the 1980's Judge Romae T. Powell, Juvenile Court of Fulton County, and Judge Aaron Cohn, Juvenile Court of Muscogee County, served as Presidents of NCJFCJ. Judge Michael Key, Juvenile Court of Troup County, ended his term as President on July 26, 2011.




Student Reflection: Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program  

by Emerald Feinberg, University of Miami School of Law Class of 2012


This summer, through Emory's Summer Child Advocacy Program, I have been placed with Michael Flinn, the Special Assistant Attorney General for Carroll County. My prior experience working in juvenile court was interning as a child's attorney so this has been a great learning adventure. A typical week here in Mr. Flinn's office ranges from detention hearings to termination of parental rights. Every day there is something new for me to work with. I have been fortunate enough to be given several cases each week to present in Juvenile Court. While I am gaining practical legal experience each and every day, I have also learned a lot about child advocacy that reminds me why I wish to enter this field.


I have been so moved by the many families and their stories that have come through the office. Many of the cases that I have been working with have similar themes. Usually the mother is impoverished, has substance abuse issues, and often with numerous children. We go to court, usually the judge finds deprivation and then a case plan is worked upon from there. Sometimes the children are reunified with the mother but then other times the rights are legally taken away. Then for some of the children, they age out of foster care and the system fails them. It is this last group of children that motivates me the most. Because of my experience this summer, I more than ever cannot wait to begin my legal career so that I can devote my time and energy to this cause. While the department steps in for the children to be their parents, I want to be their voice. One of my most memorable moments during this summer was actually getting to witness a DFCS adoption take place. After drafting the final order, it was great to be a part of a child actually receiving the permanency he deserves. My experiences working with the SAAG has provided me a wonderful foundation and I am thankful to both Emory and Mr. Flinn for giving me this opportunity to enrich my education through this internship.



Follow us on Twitter


The Barton Center is twittering information relevant to child advocacy at the Capitol.  Follow us  at @bartoncenter at to get up-to-the-minute information on topics such as:

  • Times, dates, and locations of advocacy meetings and legislative hearings;
  • Status of juvenile court-related legislation;
  • Action alerts for important pro-child initiatives; and
  • News and research on best practices for children's law.

Begin following us by clicking on the Twitter icon to the right!  Follow us on Twitter 


Quick Links...
Learn more about our work at the Barton Child Law and Policy Website.

Learn more about our educational opportunites for law students and other graduate students at the Barton Center at Emory Law Website.

Donate. Your contribution directly supports the work of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center to improve the lives of abused, neglected and court-involved children. In the "select fund" drop down box, please choose "Robin Nash Fellowship" to help us launch the careers of talented new child advocates or choose "other" and write "Barton Center operations" to support all other aspects of our work. Thank you for your generous support; our work would not be possible without community contributions.

Join the Barton Center email list. The Barton Child Law and Policy Center sends weekly legislative updates when the Georgia General Assembly is in session. During the rest of the year we send periodic emails with information on upcoming educational opportunities, legislative and policy developments, research findings, and changes to law, policy and practice. Sign up here to receive important updates on children's law in Georgia.