CAP

CAP Courses: 2006-07

In Academic Year 2006-07, CAP is offering the following three courses:

Child, Family, and State

Professors Elizabeth Bartholet

3 classroom credits - Fall

This course will focus on children's rights and interests in the context of family, education, and juvenile justice, 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), and education, including special education and "adequacy" issues. 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 , and the Child Advocacy Clinic . 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. Enrollment in both the Child Advocacy Clinic and The Art of Social Change are encouraged but not required.

There will be a take-home examination for this course.

Cross-registrants are welcome.

The Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, & Juvenile Justice

Professor Elizabeth Bartholet and Ms. Jessica Budnitz

2 classroom credits - Fall

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. Click here for a preliminary schedule of the speakers and topics for Fall 2006.

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, and the Child Advocacy Clinic. 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. Enrollment in both the Child, Family, and State course and the Child Advocacy Clinic are encouraged but not required.

Cross-registrants are welcome.

Child Advocacy Clinic

Prof. Elizabeth Bartholet and Ms. Jessica Budnitz

2 classroom credits - Spring
3 or 4 required clinical credits - Spring
2 optional clinical credits - Winter

This 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. It focuses on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice. The course is for students with a particular interest in children's issues, but also for those more generally interested in law reform and social change.

Fieldwork Component: Students will be placed in a wide variety 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. Different students will work on different types of projects, ranging from the drafting of legal briefs, to the development of legislative reform proposals, to participation in mediation, to in-court advocacy work, to leveraging the media and writing op-ed articles, to research on new policy initiatives. More specifically:

  • In the child welfare area, students may work with the Mass. Dept. Of Social Services, with private lawyers representing children at risk for abuse and neglect, 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 involving, e.g., charter schools, school finance, and school discipline.
  • In the juvenile justice area, students may work on legislative and policy initiatives aimed at juvenile justice reform, on alternatives to detention, or with a model juvenile defender organization.
    Students may also work as a law clerk in the juvenile court, or with a state legislative committee focused on child welfare and education.

Once enrolled, students will be placed to the degree possible in accord with their preferences among fieldwork organizations. Click here for a description of clinical placements offered with last year's CAP Clinical Workshop.

Classroom Component: Students will bring their different 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 their clinical work, their organization, and how their project fits within the organization's larger child advocacy agenda.

Course requirements include regular attendance and active participation in discussion. Grading will be based on a combination of each student's presentation and related packet, contributions to class discussion throughout the term, and the clinical fieldwork. Students may use their project as the basis for writing a substantial paper for an additional credit, which may be used to satisfy the School's Written Work Requirement or simply to earn extra written work credit.

Winter Term Option: The Winter Term opens up the possibility of placement with exciting organizations throughout the U.S. and even internationally. Some Winter-Spring students will be placed in a distant placement for the Winter, and then return to continue their fieldwork in the form of a research and writing project in the Spring. Other Winter-Spring students will be placed locally, working full-time in the Winter and then part-time in the Spring. All will participate in the Spring classroom component.

Enrollment Procedures: Students should enroll through the Office of Clinical Programs (OCP) Pre-Registration Lottery held in April 2006. Please note that the Child Advocacy Clinic has EARLIER drop/add deadlines than other clinical programs, which can be found in the OCP on-line materials.

Relationship to Other Child Advocacy Program Courses: This course is part of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP), whose other courses are: Child, Family, and State , and The Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, & Juvenile Justice . Enrollment in both those courses is encouraged. While there is no prerequisite for the Child Advocacy Clinic, in the event that it is overenrolled a preference will be given to students who have taken or are currently registered for either of the other CAP courses.

Last modified: July 01, 2009

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