The Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy is a collaboration between the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children and the Barton Child Law and Policy Center to provide child welfare professionals with specialized training from leading experts in the field. The Legal Academy brings professionals from around the state to Emory Law for monthly classes led by Visiting Scholars in Practice. The Legal Academy was created in response to the 2007 Child and Family Services Review Program Improvement Plan (PIP), which highlighted several areas in which additional training was needed for child welfare professionals in Georgia. The training topics in the first year were tied to requirements in the PIP. The Legal Academy has been so well received that it has continued even though Georgia has successfully completed its PIP.
Visiting Scholars in Practice
Visiting Scholars in Practice are subject matter experts who are appointed to work on a specific project or for a time-limited purpose, most commonly to serve as faculty for the Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy. The Visiting Scholars are sitting judges, physicians, social workers, lawyers and other professionals from Georgia and elsewhere in the country. The Legal Academy utilizes their practical experience and has been a successful approach to integrating the field and the academy for the benefit of practitioners, law students, and the field of children’s law.
Through the Know Your Rights initiative, Emory Law students teach Atlanta youth about their rights during encounters with law enforcement or during involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Barton Center faculty teach at local, state, and national conferences for lawyers, foster parents, judges, social workers, probation officers, community volunteers, service providers and others who work with court-involved youth. In a calendar year, members of the Barton Center faculty collectively make over 50 presentations at training events in Georgia and around the country.
The Barton Center represents a small number of individual clients each year. Center faculty and students do not provide legal advice or legal services outside formal attorney-client relationships or formalized relationships with community partners.
The resources page provides some information that may be helpful to those seeking more information about the juvenile court system and court-involved youth.