Our Work

The Barton Center is a multi-disciplinary law office where students, faculty, and community partners work together to improve outcomes for court-involved children through the following activities.

We train the next generation of child advocacy professionals in an interdisciplinary setting.

  • The program operates as a student clinic in which law and other graduate students conduct research; write articles, policy papers, and other informational materials; analyze and draft legislation and policy directives; and participate in reform initiatives.
  • Center faculty teach courses at the law school and classes throughout Emory University.
  • The Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program brings students from across the country to engage in child advocacy work throughout Georgia.
  • Faculty and students provide a limited amount of legal representation for juvenile court child clients.

We serve the community by striving to improve the way Georgia cares for abused and court-involved children and by raising awareness about these children.

  • Center faculty, staff, and students teach at local, state, and national conferences for lawyers, foster parents, judges, social workers, probation officers, community volunteers, and others.
  • The Center monitors press coverage of children's issues and serves as a resource to the press and public.
  • The Center participates in the legislative process, distributes a wide range of publications, testifies at public forums, and advises Georgia's executive, legislative, and judicial branches and nonprofit organizations on the effects that proposed legislation, policies, or regulations will have on children.
  • The Center collaborates with national and local organizations in support of important issues affecting children.

We use and promote technology to improve the way child-serving systems function and to raise awareness about child abuse, foster care, adoption, and juvenile justice.

  • A main facet of the Center's research-based approach is operating as a statewide resource through electronic media.
  • Center publications and data analysis are made available through our web site.
  • The Center encourages public and private organizations to use technology that will lead to better outcomes for children.

We use research and data analysis to promote accountability in systems that serve children.

  • The Center, in partnership with other organizations, analyzes data and provides feedback to courts and child-serving agencies about compliance with policy and statutory requirements.
  • The Center promotes individual and system compliance with procedural and substantive safeguards that help ensure decisions about children are informed, accurate, and appropriate.
  • Center faculty, staff, and students actively participate in local, state, and national work groups, commissions, reform efforts, and other endeavors to ensure that federal and state laws reflect best practices for children.
  • The Center uses research, publishing, advocacy, education, litigation, and other tools to advance the rights and well-being of court-involved and abused and neglected children.