In Academic Year 2009-10, CAP is offering the following three courses:
- Child, Family, and State
- Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice
- Child Advocacy Clinic
T,W 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Professor Elizabeth Bartholet
3 classroom credits LAW-32000A
This course will focus on children’s rights and interests in the context of family, education, and child welfare, and consider how our society shapes the meaning of childhood. We will look at what role the government does and does not play in supporting families so that they can provide children with appropriate nurture, and assess the potential of programs designed to provide special support to fragile families, such as early home visitation and family preservation. We will look at how law divides responsibility for children between parents and the state, and consider how the balance should be drawn. We will look at law and policy governing parent rights, child abuse and neglect, foster care, adoption (domestic and international), education, and juvenile justice. Throughout we will think about how we could change law and policy to create a better world for children and families.
This course is part of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP), whose other courses are: “The Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, & Juvenile Justice,” the “Child Advocacy Clinic,” and the “Future of the Family” seminar. Students participating in this Child, Family, and State course will get a preference for admission to the Winter-Spring and Spring versions of the Child Advocacy Clinic and related fieldwork placements, and to the Future of the Family seminar. Enrollment in all the CAP courses is encouraged but not required.
There will be a take-home examination for this course.
Cross-registrants are welcome.
Th 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Professor Elizabeth Bartholet and Ms. Jessica Budnitz
2 classroom credits LAW-30691A
This course deals with strategies for changing law and policy, focusing on the areas of child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, adoption both domestic and international), education, and juvenile justice. We will bring into the classroom as visiting lecturers leaders from the worlds of policy, practice, and academia — people who have themselves operated as successful change agents, and who represent different disciplines, career paths, and strategies for change. We will explore some of the most significant reform initiatives in our targeted areas, and debate with the speakers and each other how best to advance children’s interests. Receptions will follow the class meetings, enabling students to talk informally with the visiting speakers, as well as with the HLS Faculty and those from the Boston-area child advocacy community who form a regular part of our audience. Each student will have the opportunity to attend one of the dinners involving the visiting speakers, the faculty, and interested others, that will take place after the reception. Visit the CAP website for a schedule of the speakers and topics for last year’s course.
Course requirements consist of brief questions/reactions related to the readings and class presentations, turned in weekly.
This course is part of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP), whose other courses are: Child, Family, and State, the Child Advocacy Clinic, and the Future of the Family seminar. Students participating in this Art of Social Change course will get a preference for admission to the Winter-Spring and Spring versions of the Child Advocacy Clinic and related fieldwork placements, and to the Future of the Family seminar. Enrollment in all CAP courses is encouraged but not required.
Cross-registrants are welcome.
W 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Ms. Jessica Budnitz
2 classroom credits LAW-32080A
3 or 4 required clinical credits Spring
2 optional clinical credits Winter
The CAP clinic is designed to educate students about a range of social change strategies and to encourage critical thinking about the pros and cons of different approaches. The course includes both a classroom and a fieldwork component. A variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children will be addressed, with a focus on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice. The course is relevant for students with a particular interest in children’s issues but also for those more generally interested in law reform and social change.
Enrollment Options: Students have two options, which correspond to different course listings: Child Advocacy Clinic (Spring only) or Child Advocacy Clinic (Winter/Spring). All students will be required to take 2 Spring classroom credits. Additionally, all students will engage in part-time clinical work during the Spring term, registering for 3 or 4 Spring clinical credits (which roughly translates to 15 or 20 hours of work each week). Winter/Spring students will engage in full-time clinical work during the Winter term, in addition to their part-time Spring clinical work.
Enrollment Procedures: Enrollment will occur during clinical registration. Please note that the Child Advocacy Clinic has EARLIER drop/add deadlines than other clinicals. Once enrolled in the clinic, students will be provided a description of the various fieldwork options, and students will be placed to the degree possible in accord with their preferences.
Fieldwork Component: Students will be placed in a wide array of fieldwork settings, ranging from organizations providing individual advocacy, to those promoting systemic change through impact litigation and legislative reform, to grassroots organizing initiatives. Some students will work for reform from within the system and others from outside. Students will work on different types of projects such as: developing legislative reform proposals, participating in mediations, doing in-court advocacy work, drafting legal briefs, analyzing social science and psychological research, leveraging the media and writing op-ed articles, investigating new policy initiatives. For instance:
- In the child welfare area, students may work at the state agency charged with protecting children from abuse and neglect, with private lawyers representing children in the foster care system, with a model early home visitation program focused on supporting fragile families, or with the district attorney’s office prosecuting parents accused of child maltreatment.
- In the education area, students may work with a program that weds social science with the promotion of policy reform, with a project advocating for the special needs of children exposed to violence, or with the state agency charged with overseeing schools on issues such as charter schools, school finance, assessment and accountability, student rights, and school discipline.
- In the juvenile justice area, students may work on legislative and policy initiatives aimed at improving the justice system for youth of color, on an initiative providing alternatives to detention, or with a model juvenile defender organization.
- Many placements cut across substantive areas. Students may work as a law clerk in the juvenile court, with a state legislative committee focused on child welfare and education, or with a medical-legal collaborative aimed at improving child well-being.
Winter Term Fieldwork Option: The Winter Term opens up the possibility of placement with model organizations throughout the U.S. and even internationally. Most Winter-Spring students will be placed in a distant placement for the Winter Term, and then return to continue their fieldwork in the form of a research and writing project in the Spring. A small number of Winter-Spring students will be placed locally, working full-time in the Winter and then part-time at the same organization in the Spring.
Classroom Component: During the Spring term, students will bring their varied fieldwork experiences into the classroom so that all can learn from the rich combination of clinical experiences and debate the value of different approaches. Each student will give one presentation during the term — often in combination with the fieldwork supervisor describing his/her clinical work, his/her organization, and how his/her project fits within the organization’s larger child advocacy agenda.
Course Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in discussion is required. Grading will be based on a combination of each student’s presentation and related packet, contributions to class discussion throughout the term, and clinical fieldwork.
Relationship to Other Child Advocacy Program Courses: This course is part of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP). Other CAP courses being offered in 2009-10 include: (1) Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice and (2) Child, Family, and State. Enrollment in these CAP courses is encouraged. While there is no prerequisite for the Child Advocacy Clinic, in the event that it is overenrolled, preference will be given to students who have taken or are currently registered for other CAP courses.
Notes: Enrollment in the course will be capped at 24 students. There are no pre-requisites for the course. In the event the course is over-subscribed, preference will be given to students who have taken or are currently registered for other CAP courses.