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Filling the Gaps

Domestic Violence and Child Welfare Advocacy

By Monica Drinane & Marlene Halpern

A new project at the Legal Aid Society in New York City combines the perspectives of Juvenile Rights Division attorneys, who represent children in dependency proceedings, and those of Civil and Volunteer Division attorneys, who represent parents in domestic violence cases, in the hope of increasing the effectiveness of the program's advocacy for families. An increasing tendency of courts to remove children on the ground that the domestic violence in the home constitutes child neglect led to collaborative efforts to keep nonabusive parents and their children together.

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