Laura Ferro

  • Hosted by The Bronx Defenders
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Family Law
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Laura will prevent the traumatic and unnecessary removal of children from low-income families in the Bronx by providing advocacy and legal counsel to parents during child protective investigations. Laura will assist parents in addressing the crisis that brought their family to the attention of child protective services, help ensure that their rights are protected, and that they receive their day in court expeditiously

The Bronx is the poorest borough in New York City: over 30% of its population lives in poverty. Parents living in poor communities of color are more likely to be targeted in child neglect and abuse investigations. The vast majority of these are based upon allegations of neglect due to circumstances caused by poverty and lack of resources. Because parents are unadvised, most are ill equipped to address or mitigate risk in order to avoid their children being removed or prevent a case from being filed against them in court. Consequently, children experience trauma unnecessarily and the system is burdened by court cases that preventative advocacy could have averted. Pre-filing representation of parents in the child welfare system is key to making the child welfare system produce just and fair results with a less traumatic impact on children.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Laura:

  • Provided legal counsel and advocacy for parents during Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) investigations
  • Filed demands in Bronx Family Court for pre-petition hearings in order to prevent emergency removals of children and force a timely judicial review of removal decisions
  • Represented parents in neglect and abuse proceedings in Bronx Family Court

Meet Other Fellows Like Laura

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Susan Wright

Host: Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis

Sponsor: Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, The Family of Hyman Edelman

Crisanne Hazen

Host: Legal Advocates for Children and Youth

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Erica Carroll

Host: Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Allison Green

Host: Children's Law Center of DC

Sponsor: Crowell & Moring Foundation