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Barton Child Law and Policy Center

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.

Message from the Director, Melissa Carter

Welcome to the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University School of Law. Our mission is to promote and protect the legal rights and interests of children involved with the juvenile court, child welfare and juvenile justice systems; to inspire excellence and integrity among the professionals and within the institutions that serve children; and to prepare the next generation of lawyers. Please explore this site to learn more about how our faculty, students and alumni are positively impacting children’s lives through the provision of high quality legal representation and achieving systemic reform through research-based policy development and legislative advocacy.

The Barton Center’s three in-house legal clinics afford students a unique opportunity to integrate legal theory with law practice in a collaborative, interdisciplinary setting. Our students receive instruction in lawyering skills and practice those skills in courtrooms, legislative committee hearings, and administrative settings under close faculty supervision. As they are exposed to the social context against which laws operate, student attorneys in our clinics also gain critical insights into how laws impact vulnerable members of society. The experiences of advising real individual and organizational clients, conducting research and developing reform strategies, arguing before a judge or negotiating a plea, and resolving ethical and strategic challenges as they unfold in complex matters prepares our students for successful and fulfilling careers.

The Barton Center also serves as a resource for practitioners and policymakers committed to justice for children. We provide specialized training and consultation to juvenile court, child welfare and juvenile justice professionals and engage in systemic advocacy at the state and national levels. Visit the other pages on this site to better understand how together, through strategic partnerships and individual dedication, we can ensure justice and safety for all children.

MelissaC

News from the Barton Center

Special collaboration with Department of Juvenile Justice and the Governor's Office for Children and Families.

The 2014 Child Welfare Legal Academy: A Year of Exploring Openness in Child Welfare

Additional sponsors of this series: The Supreme Court of Georgia's Committee on Justice for Children; The Georgia Department of Human Services; Casey Family Programs; and Voices for Georgia's Children. Please join us for a series of classes exploring the rationales in our current laws and policies around confidentiality in our child welfare system.

Class 5 - The Stigma of Foster Care

UPDATE: PLEASE NOTE THE START TIME CHANGE--The next installment of the Child Welfare Legal Academy will be Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 1:30-3:45 pm at Emory School of Law. A panel of former foster youth from Georgia EmpowerMEnt will reflect on their experiences in foster care, particularly with respect to any stigma they experienced as a result of being labeled a "foster child." Terry Walsh, partner at Alston & Bird, will facilitate discussion with the goal of exploring the unintended consequences of laws and procedures designed to maintain confidentiality and protect the privacy of children and families.

Online pre-registration is now available at http://tinyurl/stigmaoffostercare.

Class 6 - A Public Case Review

Details forthcoming.

Save the Date -- September 5, 2014:  Open Adoptions

Our next Child Welfare Legal Academy will continue to explore the theme of openness in the child welfare system by examining the practice of open adoptions.  Open adoptions, in which the biological and adoptive families have access to each other to varying degrees, are not a new phenomenon.  Historically, most adoptive and biological parents have contact at least during the adoption process, but adoptions became closed due to a range of social pressures.  In recent decades, open adoptions have become more common as the social stigma has lessened and research has suggested that openness is better for the child.  Today, 60 to 70 percent of domestic adoptions are open.  Join us on Friday, September 5, from 1:30-3:45pm at Emory Law School to hear a range of personal and professional reflections on this topic. To register online, visit www.tinyurl.com/openadoptions.

 

Support the Barton Center

Make a Donation
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. Thank you for your generous support. Our work would not be possible without community contributions.

One Advisory Committee Member's Story
Stephen F. Fusco 98C 01L raises funds for the Barton Center, saying “The Barton Child Law and Policy Center was my single best experience in law school.”




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