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January 15, 2015
There are an extraordinary number of children under the custody and care of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) and/or in Foster Care that are in need of special educational services. Unfortunately, these children are then often deprived of the additional services they need to fully understand the information that’s presented to them in the classroom. Without these special services -- to address physical handicaps, intellectual disabilities, comprehension deficiencies, speech and language impairments and emotional and behavioral issues -- these children are more likely to suffer academically and drop out of school.
The Connecticut Child Justice Foundation (CCJF) is determined to ensure that school districts provide all of the essential and legally mandated educational services (including Special Ed needs) for each child that is under the custody and/or care of the DCF. To make that possible, we have a team of caring volunteer lawyers, including former judges, who will intervene on each child’s behalf. These legal professionals actively advocate at the School District level, at the State Administrative level and in the Courts, if necessary, in order to protect each child’s full educational rights.
As one of the co-founders of the CCJF, we appreciate all of the lawyers that have volunteered to represent these children and that have worked so hard on their behalf. At the same time, we encourage other legal professionals to volunteer their time for this important pro bono service. Without somebody speaking up for these kids their educational needs likely will not be met. The CCJF volunteer lawyers who have handled these cases talk about how representing these kids is both so meaningful and so rewarding.
Children are shaped by their experiences and circumstances. With the aid of caring adults, children can feel empowered by their educational experiences and achieve positive results. This in turn boosts their confidence in their abilities and provides a springboard for future success. It’s our moral obligation as trial lawyers to use our skills and abilities to help these children who don’t have anyone else to advocate for them. Won’t you please join us?
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