Child & Family Advocacy with Medical-Legal Partnership

The Child & Family Advocacy Clinic, which operates a Medical-Legal Partnership with the West Virginia University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, provides legal services to children and families of limited income to promote their health, security, and future success.

The Medical-Legal Partnership is a collaborative effort with healthcare providers from all specialties from West Virginia University Children’s Hospital. During medical visits, clinicians identify potential legal issues involving education, child custody, guardianship, domestic relations, domestic violence or inadequate housing. If a legal problem is identified, the families are given the opportunity to consult with West Virginia University Clinical law students, supervising attorneys and faculty.

The Child and Family Advocacy Clinic can assist children and families with limited income who need free legal assistance in civil matters, including:

  • FAMILY LAW: Custody and guardianship matters, adoptions, domestic violence and protection orders.
  • EDUCATION: Advocacy for special education and early intervention for children with disabilities and special health needs.
  • HOUSING: Landlord-tenant issues, such as housing conditions, eviction actions, and public housing matters.
  • GOVERNMENT BENEFITS: Eligibility for or denial of benefits
  • HEALTH CARE: Eligibility for Medicaid or WVCHIP services under Medicaid and Medicare, as well as private insurance issues.
  • END OF LIFE PLANNING: Wills and special needs trusts.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

The program serves both urban and rural children and families of limited financial means.

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO PAY?

If a legal problem is identified, the families are given the opportunity to consult with the law students and faculty associated with the legal clinic and be represented without charge.

RECENT CASE

Students from these clinics have been appointed by the Family Courts in Monongalia and Preston counties to serve as guardians ad litem (GAL) in 18 cases. The reputation of the clinics is such that lawyers in the area are beginning to request the appointment of the Student Attorneys in these cases.


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