Anna Moss

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Society of New York
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school City University of New York School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Anna provided client-centered legal representation and systemic advocacy to reduce the institutionalization of children in foster care. She prepared The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice to respond to the opportunities and requirements of the new Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). Anna assisted attorneys and social workers as they developed advocacy strategies to prevent clients from being placed in overly restrictive settings, far from their communities and families of origin.

In her five years as a foster parent, Anna witnessed the child welfare system habitually devalue the lives of older foster youth. She knew these youth would attain justice only through a specialized legal strategy that honored their lived experience and engaged them as leaders on their own path.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Anna:
  • Provided full representation to 42 youth in foster care, focusing on transition-aged youth with Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) permanency goals
  • Consulted with attorneys and social workers on 80 additional cases where issues related to FFPSA, institutionalization, family support, and final discharge planning were identified
  • Drafted and executed a novel Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Visiting Project to connect clients isolated in congregate care settings around New York City with comprehensive courtroom advocacy
  • Educated clients in QRTPs on changes to state regulations regarding the use of restraints
  • Led a QRTP advocacy team with members of Legal Aid’s Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit to generate systemic advocacy strategies for inside and outside the courtroom
  • Researched and drafted litigation tools, training materials, and interview guidelines for the new FFPSA QRTP Hearings and Family Permanency Team meetings
  • Trained attorneys on FFPSA within The Legal Aid Society in New York City and nationally at Practicing Law Institute’s 25th Annual Children’s Law Institute
  • Represented the Bronx Office on JRP’s borough-wide multi-disciplinary Adolescent Practice Team (APT); disseminated APT resources to her 90 colleagues in the Bronx and consulted on strategies in individual cases

Next Steps

Anna will remain at The Legal Aid Society as a Staff Attorney in the Juvenile Rights Practice, representing children, adolescents and young adults on abuse and neglect cases. She will continue to support her colleagues to litigate QRTP hearings and fight for the equitable future their clients envision.

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