Children's Law Center NEWS is HERE!


Minnesota foster kids are YOUR kids too.
 they deserve BETTER.

Children's Law Center makes a difference in the lives of over 400 foster youth every year. We do that with a staff of only seven people, and an army of dedicated volunteer attorneys who donate their time and expertise to helping our foster clients. Our volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty for their clients, driving them to college interviews, helping them fill out applications, helping them with homework, making sure they have someplace to go for important holidays, in addition to advocating for them in court.

Navigating the child protection system is complicated and confusing. CLC volunteer attorneys ensure their clients' rights are protected at every step in this process. One attorney may be advocating for a more appropriate placement for their client while another is advocating for their client to have continuing contact with a much loved sibling or aunt. Other attorneys are fighting for fundamental client needs - a new pair of shoes for their client because it is November and their client only owns flip-flops, or, a new mattress because their client has been sleeping with bed bugs for six months. Other attorneys are addressing their clients related legal needs - assuring necessary and appropriate medical and mental health services are provided to address things such as trauma or fetal alcohol syndrome; the immigration issues arising from being trafficked into the U.S.; truancy or delinquency matters resulting from years of abuse and neglect. CLC staff attorneys and social workers work hard to ensure our volunteers address all of their clients needs.

There is more to be done. Which is why we need your support NOW more than ever. In these uncertain economic times, our work is needed more than ever. There are many more foster youth who need our help. CLC will continue to do its part. We are asking for your support to help us do just that. Join us at the CHILDREN'S LAW CENTER'S 16th ANNUAL BENEFIT & CELEBRATION, 5:30 PM- 8PM on Thursday, October 6, 2011, at Windows on Minnesota in Minneapolis. 
For more information on the BENEFIT, click HERE.
To Donate NOW and reserve your space, click HERE.
This year your Benefit support is DOUBLED as CLC will receive a matching grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation for up to $50,000! Don't wait!
Max's Story


Max has been fighting an uphill battle from the beginning. Like many foster children he is a victim of abuse and neglect by both of his parents. Following placement in emergency protective custody it became evident that Max would need indefinite care away from his biological parents. From a young age Max has displayed significant developmental and behavioral issues as a result of his chaotic young life. Aggressive outbursts coupled with low socialization skills, need for constant supervision, and difficulty in educational settings made finding a placement for him very problematic. Max has frequently moved and in the past decade has seen more than a dozen placements.   
Because of the severity of his behavioral issues Max has spent the majority of his life in highly restrictive placements. The solution to Max’s behaviors has frequently involved reliance on prescriptions of psychotropic drugs. At age 16 he was ingesting eight medications at once and had exhausted a list of more than a dozen psychotropic treatments. It was brought to the attention of Max’s attorney at Children’s Law Center (CLC) that Max may have been overmedicated. He displayed common side effects of psychotropic drugs that varied from weight gain to changes in demeanor including delirium, mood swings and psychosis.
Read MORE.
Upcoming Trainings

Upcoming Trainings

MSBA Pro Bono Week Breakout Session: Child Advocacy and the Juvenile Court System
Date: October 25, 2011
Time:12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Co-sponsoring Organizations:Gray Plant Mooty and Children’s Law Center of Minnesota.

TO REGISTER: Visit the MSBA website at to register for pro bono week. More information about the breakout sessions will be posted to the MSBA website soon.

Representing Youth in Foster Care
CLC’s Next Representing Youth in Foster Care Training will be held:
WHEN: November 4, 2011
WHERE: Briggs and Morgan, 2200 IDS Center, 80 South 8th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
TO REGISTER: Click HERE to Download a registration form:
CLC Training Brochure 11.4.2011. Please e-mail Jessica at: with any questions.

Sept 2011 Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month
Chad Snyder

CLC recently put out a call for volunteers due to its overwhelming caseload and without a moment’s hesitation, Chad accepted another client to add to the three he was already representing.  Chad has also agreed to be an emergency back-up for other solo practitioners who do not have the support of others at a large firm to cover their hearings when they are unable to attend. 
Chad has been a volunteer with CLC since 2000.  In that time he has represented 20 clients. Chad has represented several different sibling groups throughout his tenure at CLC, and has worked hard to meet the needs of each sibling individually. Chad has devoted his time to representing his clients for the long haul, including one long term foster care youth, whom Chad represented for eight years! Dedication to clients over the long term requires commitment. Chad has been very supportive of all of his clients, and has helped many of them through some very tough times, and a variety of placements.
One of the youth that Chad represented kept running away from his placement...


Sept 2011 Practice Point


By Julia Hillel Larsen – CLC Staff Attorney
The information included in this practice point is based on a memorandum and recommendations prepared by and researched by Theresa Bevilacqua, Jonathan Bakewicz and Stephanie Friedland from the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney LLP. Many thanks to these dedicated lawyers for their thorough and invaluable research.

Over a third of child clients represented by the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota (CLC) take psychotropic medications and many of these clients take more than one psychotropic medication at the same time. Youth in foster care are much more likely to be on psychotropic medications than youth in the general population.
  Additionally, prescription of multiple psychotropic drugs at the same time is occurring at high rates for foster children. Almost all psychotropic medications prescribed to children are not FDA-approved for use in children because the long-term health impact of these drugs on children is unknown. Thus, there is cause for alarm about the appropriate use of psychotropic drugs for youth in foster care.

Copyright © 2011 Children's Law Center of Minnesota, All rights reserved.

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