Renee Schenkman

  • Hosted by Lawyers for Children
  • Sponsored by The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Renee provides legal representation and advocates to address the needs of youth in Residential Treatment Centers and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Children’s Center and enforces the Family First Prevention Services Act.

In New York City, one in ten children in foster care is placed in congregate care, a non-familial, group setting. Rather than serving as a temporary emergency placement or a service-rich environment to meet the intensive needs of youth who cannot be placed in foster homes, these settings often isolate the most vulnerable youth. The Family First Prevention Services Act, which was recently enacted by Congress and will be implemented in New York in 2021, was designed to curtail the inappropriate use of congregate care to ensure that youth in Residential Treatment Centers and the ACS Children’s Center receive evidence-based, trauma-informed services.

Fellowship Plans

Renee will represent children placed in Residential Treatment Centers and the ACS Children’s Center who are facing issues such as inappropriate Individualized Education Programs, mistreatment by staff, lack of medical evaluations and therapeutic services, and improper placement. She will monitor the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act to enforce compliance by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Additionally, Renee will compile a know-your-rights resource guide for youth in congregate care settings. In doing so, Renee will ensure that children who are placed in institutional congregate care 1) receive the individualized, trauma-informed, evidence-based services, care, and evaluations to which they are legally entitled in a timely manner, and 2) move to less restrictive settings as soon as is appropriate.


Morrison & Foerster Partners With Equal Justice Works To Support Recent Law School Graduates With A Passion For Public Service

Five NYU Law graduates named 2020 Equal Justice Works fellows

Far too often, children in foster care are told what’s in their best interest, and they aren’t given a meaningful opportunity to share their input. I am passionate about ensuring that every child’s voice is heard because every child deserves a safe, supportive home.

Renee Schenkman /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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