Attorney of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Lawyer on the Fast Track Awards
Keynote Address of Frank P. Cervone, Executive Director, Support Center for Child Advocates
Thank you Hank. We congratulate Legal Editor Hank Grezlak for his recent promotion, announced today in The Legal. His reach has grown tremendously, clearly a sign that SOMEONE in American Lawyer Media likes him! As reported today, “Hank Grezlak’s role with ALM as Regional Editor-in-Chief for the Northeast—including The Legal Intelligencer—has been expanded to include oversight of all regional ALM brands including the New York Law Journal, The Recorder, Texas Lawyer, Daily Report and the Daily Business Review … and Sesame Street, The National Enquirer, Saturday Night Live and All Twitter feeds everywhere.” Talk about Fast Track!!
Seriously, The Legal has been a tremendous partner of the public interest law community, and a friend of Child Advocates, promoting our events and helping us to invite others to the work. More importantly The Legal Intelligencer remains a vital element of Pennsylvania’s Fourth Estate, speaking truth to power, pressing for and creating accountability in our legal institutions. All of the journalists and leaders involved in ALM and The Legal Intelligencer – please let’s recognize these fine colleagues!
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Advocacy in a Dynamic Child Welfare System
The Legal Intelligencer April 24th, 2016
Written by Tracey Thomasey
Since 2012, the Philadelphia child welfare system has been transitioning to a new model of service delivery using Community Umbrella Agencies (CUA) to work with families through an Improving Outcomes for Children (IOC) initiative. IOC has moved responsibility for foster care and in-home family services to 10 CUAs that are based in local communities so that families and providers can build familiarity with each other.
The initiative was launched with the first two CUAs opening in 2012 in North Philadelphia neighborhoods where child welfare caseloads have been the highest and most challenging. As of fall 2014, all 10 CUAs were fully operational, so that all new cases and most of the existing cases are now being serviced by CUA workers.
As with any significant system reform, the shift to community-based agencies has had challenges, including a high turnover rate among CUA workers, difficulty sharing information between entities, as well as monetary and social service resources that are inadequate to meet the needs of a growing child welfare system. We must ask ourselves: In a dynamic child welfare system, how do advocates assist children, families and the system in reaching their individual and collective potentials?
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Frank P. Cervone, The Legal Intelligencer
March 23, 2015
Slipping through the cracks in the system, a child’s story ends in tragedy. A young person lingering in foster care for years, moving from place to place with no permanent home. These are the perceptions of life in the child welfare system in Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, in some cases, it is all too true. The child welfare population is growing. For the first time since 2009, Philadelphia has more than 5,000 children in out-of-home care, compared to 4,256 at the end of 2012. This is the bad news.
The good news is that, locally and statewide, the child welfare system is responding in an effort to improve outcomes for children.
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Advocacy for Foster Youth to Achieve Educational Success
By Frank P. Cervone and Megan Rok, The Legal Intelligencer
June 30, 2014
The education crisis of foster youth has started to garner attention from lawmakers. A complex array of federal and state laws provides court-involved youth with substantive and procedural educational entitlements. There is great power in these legal entitlements, but targeted advocacy is needed to transform paper promises into educational opportunities. When foster youth do not receive the educational opportunities they need and deserve, there is frequently no one to speak up on their behalf.
The Support Center for Child Advocates is Philadelphia’s volunteer lawyer program for abused and neglected children. Through a model of “whole child” representation and social work advocacy, the program seeks to secure client safety and protection from further abuse, as well as improved outcomes for child well-being. Child Advocates staff and pro bono lawyers will represent an all-time high of more than 910 children this year. Through our work, we seek to provide stability in the lives of children who have lived with trauma and uncertainty.
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By the Legal Staff
The Legal Intelligencer
May 28, 2013
As part of its 170th anniversary, The Legal for the first time awarded some of Pennsylvania’s most influential attorneys with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Each honoree was asked to provide a brief quote or anecdote about what the law has meant to them. These are their responses, paired with a few sentences from The Legal’s staff about each winner’s career accomplishments.
For more information on the other honorees, please visit HERE.