Direct Representation Program

The Direct Representation Program provides older youth in the child welfare system with an attorney experienced in working with older youth and well-versed in child welfare laws. In addition, the program connects youth with a Support Advocate who is well-informed regarding available therapeutic services, community based mentoring organizations, residential facility programs, and ways to ensure a child’s medical needs are met.

If you know of a child in a CHINS/TPR case who would like an attorney and they are currently removed from their home and 12 years of age or older, please go to this link to make a confidential referral.

Direct Representation Referral Form

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Why do children need lawyers?

Attorneys are guaranteed to parents and the Department of Child Services, but not guaranteed to the most important person. . . the child. By providing youth with attorneys of their own, the Direct Representation Program gives children the opportunity to take control of their own lives. We amplify their voices in the courtroom and during case planning meetings. Making life decisions is one of the most important life skills teenagers practice, and a basic right all youth deserve to experience.

For all additional questions, please contact the Director of the Direct Representation Program, Rachel Vilensky at rachel@childadvocates.net.