Special Project on Behalf of Children in Foster Care Exposed to Domestic Violence

Special Project on Behalf of Children in Foster Care Exposed to Domestic Violence

This project is made possible by the generous support of the KPMG and Sidley & Austin Equal Justice Works Fellowship

The Challenge:

Domestic violence (DV) is identified in almost one-fifth of cases reported every year to New York’s Administration for Children’s Services. Children are often unnecessarily removed from their homes or suffer a disruption of the parent/child relationship solely because one of their parents is a victim of domestic violence. These children face trauma first from experiencing or witnessing DV, then from being taken from their homes, and again from being placed in foster care while their cases are resolved.

LFC’s Response:

Lawyers For Children’s Domestic Violence Project provides specialized and comprehensive legal and social work services to children who have been exposed to domestic violence. The mission of the DV Project is to prevent the trauma of removal when possible by enabling our clients to remain with their non-offending parent when that is appropriate, and ensuring that children maintain access to both parents where appropriate. The project is staffed by two attorneys—one Project Director, whose legal practice centers on the Integrated Domestic Violence Part in Manhattan Supreme Court, and (beginning in the fall of 2014) one Domestic Violence Specialist, who will focus on Manhattan Family Court cases—as well as a team of Master’s-level social workers with expertise and training in the particular trauma associated with domestic violence.

The DV project team identifies domestic violence issues in a wide spectrum of cases (foster care, abuse, neglect, family offense, custody and visitation) and provides individual advocacy (either directly or through case consultation) to access appropriate services in a timely manner, prevent unnecessary placements into foster care, and to continue a meaningful parent/child relationship where appropriate.

Jacob"ACS determined that she had neglected Jacob simply by being abused herself."

Read Jacob's Success Story

In order to preserve client confidentiality, names and other details have been changed. Volunteer models appear in all photographs that depict LFC clients. Photographs courtesy Ben Fink Shapiro Studio and Jasmin Ortiz.