Barton Child Law and Policy Center Newsletter
Dear Child Advocates, this update contains:
Free Lecture on the Rights of the Needy
Student Reflection: Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program
Follow Us on Twitter!

Please Join Us for a Conversation on the Rights of the Needy      

The Rights of the Needy: Children as the Most Vulnerable


An upcoming lecture series at Emory University will explore what happens to deeply needy populations when the modern welfare state begins to collapse. "When Law and Religion Meet 2012-2013: The Rights of the Needy" begins Thursday, September 13, 2012, at 4:30 pm at Emory Law.  Professors Martha Fineman and Barbara Woodhouse are presenting. Please visit the Lecture Series page of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion to get more details. No registration is required. The event is free and open to the public.       



Student Reflection: Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program    

by Audrey Biggerstaff, Emory Law Class of 2013


My experience as an Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program (ESCAP) intern this summer gave me the training, experience, and connections I will need to pursue a career in child advocacy. My summer at the Fulton County Office of the Child Attorney was a challenging, educational, and rewarding experience. It began with a week of intensive training at Emory with my fellow ESCAP interns, which prepared me well for my work with the Fulton County Office of the Child Attorney. Soon after beginning with the office, I was sworn in under the Georgia Third Year Practice Act. Throughout the summer I was able to conduct hearings and adjudications. Appearing in court provided me with invaluable experience. While I was passionate about the work I did as an ESCAP intern and found each day exciting, it was difficult as well. Many of the children's stories are tragic and heart wrenching. Nonetheless, these difficult moments strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in child advocacy. 

I found that throughout the summer there were certain problems I had anticipated and certain problems that surprised me. For example, I anticipated that the parents might struggle with various mental health diagnoses or substance abuse. What I did not anticipate was the frequency of developmental disability among the parents. So often there are parents with severe developmental disabilities who have had their parental rights terminated and continue to find themselves in court again. This experience has inspired me to research alternative solutions. This semester as a student in Professor Woodhouse's Children's Rights Seminar, I plan to research the way other countries address this problem and write about what other solutions there might be to protect the child's right to know and be raised by his or her family.


In addition to working directly with children in court proceedings, interviews, and visits, I also had the opportunity to sharpen my written advocacy skills. I was able to participate in a team writing effort on an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of Georgia. This experience gave me a first hand understanding of how child welfare law in Georgia and the role of a child attorney are still developing. It also underlined the importance of the new juvenile code, which will hopefully pass this upcoming legislative session and clarify many of the gray areas that exist in the current juvenile code. I am grateful for the opportunities provided to me through ESCAP and for such an invaluable experience.



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  • Times, dates, and locations of advocacy meetings and legislative hearings;
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Quick Links...
Learn more about our work at the Barton Child Law and Policy Center Website.

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

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