Children’s Law Center is pleased to recognize Fish & Richardson P.C. as its 2020 Pro Bono Champion. For more than a decade, Fish & Richardson has partnered with Children’s Law Center to support the District’s children and families in need. The firm has taken over fifty pro bono cases with Children’s Law Center since 2009, taking on more cases each year to help us reach even more children and families. Fish & Richardson has provided critical legal assistance on matters impacting a child’s family, health, and education. Fish & Richardson attorneys have represented caregivers seeking to provide children with stable homes and have served as guardians ad litem for children caught in high conflict custody disputes. The firm’s attorneys have also assisted with securing necessary housing repairs to improve a child’s health as well as obtaining special education services for children struggling in school. No matter the issue, Fish & Richardson attorneys lend their time and legal talents to serve our community. We express our sincere appreciation for the firm’s dedication to pro bono and commitment to racial justice. Fish & Richardson’s support is essential to ensuring Children’s Law Center touches the lives of thousands of children each year.
For Keisha, being in foster care meant being constantly uprooted – moving from one home to the next. Her Children’s Law Center lawyers advocated to give her the security of a stable home, connected Keisha to a therapist to help address her depression, and reduced her financial burdens by having college application fees waived. But it was how her lawyers treated Keisha that meant more than anything. In her own words,
My Children’s Law Center lawyers always reminded me that I was more than my status, and that I could have whatever life that I wanted.
After William’s mom was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia and tested positive for COVID-19, his grandmother stepped in to take care of him and his siblings. For safety reasons, they couldn’t return home to retrieve his belongings – including his psychiatric medication. Knowing that being without the medication was dangerous, William’s grandmother needed someone who she could count on to help – the Children’s Law Center lawyer who had helped the family before. When she called, Children’s Law Center reached out to our partners at Children’s National and connected the family with the right doctors. They met with William, assessed his mental health needs, and wrote new prescriptions to treat his depression, anxiety and PTSD. His mom is now healthy, and the family is back home together.
Every day for more than five years, Ayden’s mom carried him up and down the stairs to his bedroom. When Ayden’s pediatrician connected the family with Children’s Law Center, they had been on the waiting list for an accessible apartment for far too many years. Just months before the pandemic hit, Children’s Law Center’s advocacy succeeded and the family finally moved into a wheelchair-accessible home. Ayden and his mom are thankful they have a safer home to live in during the crisis. Ayden’s mom shares:
They kept telling me I was at the top of the list for a new home, but it was hard to not lose hope. Thankfully, I didn’t stop fighting and neither did Children’s Law Center.
DC children live in poverty – that’s less than $26,200/year for a family of four – and in our poorest neighborhoods where Children’s Law Center’s clients live, the figure is closer to 1 in 2.
DC students have emotional, physical or learning disabilities. Even before the pandemic, less than 10% performed at grade level – and many are unable to get the attention and support they need through virtual learning.
A child with asthma living in a DC neighborhood with more than 96% Black and Brown residents is 20 times more likely to go to the ER than a child living across town in a neighborhood with more than 80% white residents—just one of far too many health disparities that impact the children we work with every day.
We need to raise more than $1.6 million from law firms, corporations and individuals to provide free legal services and advocacy for more than 5,000 children and families in the coming year.
“Our children faced daunting problems before the pandemic. Now they need us even more.” – Judith Sandalow
Learn more about sponsorship opportunities and donate today to ensure all DC children can grow up with a stable family, good health and a quality education.
Judges, pediatricians and families call on us to advocate for children who are abused or neglected, who aren’t learning in school or who have health problems that can’t be solved by medicine alone. Councilmembers, DC government officials and advocates turn to us when the District’s laws and policies are failing children and need to be improved.