Name of Host Organization: The University of Washington School of Law
City, State: Seattle, Washington
Issue area: Children/Youth, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
Sponsors: Intellectual Ventures, Perkins Coie LLP
Alicia improved access to legal representation to youth in the child welfare system in Washington State through filing Motions for Appointment of Counsel, monitoring court processes, and multi-forum advocacy.
Need Addressed By Project
When a child is removed from home due to abuse or neglect, decisions about where she will live, the services she will receive, and the family relationships she can maintain are determined by judges in a courtroom. In this situation, an attorney can advocate for the desires of a child, whether those desires are to remain with her parents, to maintain sibling contact, or to receive services for her educational and mental health needs. Attorneys protect a youth’s legal interests and give youth a voice in the decisions that are being made about their lives. However, in Washington State, children in foster care are not universally appointed legal counsel.