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The Sol and Lillian Goldman Family, Advocacy for Children and Youth Clinic

The Sol and Lillian Goldman Family, Advocacy for Children and Youth Clinic opened in spring 2003.  Under the supervision of Jean Koh Peters, students represent children in neglect or uncared-for proceedings in the New Haven Superior Court for Juvenile Matters.  Students represent both children living in the home and children removed on an emergency basis at the time the proceedings commence.  Students appear regularly in mediation meetings and court appearances in the Superior Court and engage in interdisciplinary meetings of all kinds. 

Students grapple with critical issues that arise at this unique moment in the history of the family and often confront crisis decision-making as they represent clients who have recently been removed from their homes. 

These issues include the effects of changes in “welfare as we know it,” the effect of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which provides accelerated time frames for filing for termination of parental rights proceedings, and the disparate treatment of poor families and families of color under the child welfare system. 

Additionally, students face the challenge of assuming the dual role of attorney for child and guardian ad litem, in both theoretical and practical contexts.  Some cases involve interdisciplinary collaboration between the clinic and mental health and social work consultants. Finally, students in the clinic discuss watershed cases and contemporary legislation concerning child advocacy.

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