CAP

CAP Courses: 2012-13

In Academic Year 2012-13, CAP is offering the following courses:

  1. Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice (Fall)
  2. Child Advocacy Clinic (Winter/Spring OR Spring)

Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education and Juvenile Justice

Fall term
Th 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
WCC 2012

Professor Elizabeth Bartholet and Ms. Jessica Budnitz
2 classroom credits

This course deals with strategies for changing law and policy, focusing on the areas of child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, adoption), 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 schedule of the speakers and topics for last year's course.

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, the Child Advocacy Clinic, and the Future of the Family seminar. Enrollment in all CAP courses is encouraged but not required.

Cross-registrants are welcome.  Click here for 2011 Information for Cross-Registrants (this info will be updated for 2012).

Child Advocacy Clinic

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the CAP Clinic.  The clinic includes both a:

  • Classroom/seminar component AND
  • Clinical fieldwork component

The seminar is offered in the Spring term.  As described in more detail below, there are two options for clinical field work:

  • Spring only
  • Winter/Spring

Child Advocacy Clinic Seminar 

Spring term
W 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Rm TBA

Ms. Jessica Budnitz
2 classroom credits 
3-6 required clinical credits
(3-4 required Spring clinical credits, 2 optional Winter clinical credits)

Co-requisite Clinic: Child Advocacy Clinic, either the Winter-Spring clinic (5-6 credits) or Spring clinic (3-4 credits). Students must first enroll in the clinic before attempting to enroll in this class.
Early Add/Drop Deadline: November 2, 2012 for Winter-Spring clinical students. December 7, 2012 for Spring clinical students.
LLM Students: This clinic is open to LLM students through an application process.

The CAP 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. The CAP Clinic includes both a classroom and a fieldwork component. A variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children will be addressed with a focus on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice. The Clinic is relevant for students with a particular interest in children's issues but also for those more generally interested in social change.

During the Spring class, students will bring their varied 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 his/her clinical work, his/her organization, and how his/her project fits within the organization's larger child advocacy agenda.

Regular classroom attendance and active participation in discussion is required. Grading will be based on a combination of each student's presentation and related packet, contributions to class discussion throughout the term, and clinical fieldwork.

All students must take the Winter-Spring or Spring Child Advocacy Clinic. Students must first enroll in either the Winter-Spring or Spring Child Advocacy Clinic before enrolling in this class. Once enrolled in the clinic, students will be provided a description of the various fieldwork options, and students will be placed to the degree possible in accord with their preferences. Visit the CAP Clinic webpage for more about the Clinic.

Registration Note: This class can be added by CAP clinic students after the Phase 1 registration results are posted, and will not be in Phase 2 registration.

Child Advocacy Clinic Fieldwork (Spring)

Ms. Jessica Budnitz
Spring 2013 Clinic, Section 1
3 or 4 clinical credits

Co-requisite Class: Child Advocacy Clinical Seminar (2 Spring credits). Students must first enroll in the clinic before attempting to enroll in the class. The class will be available to add or drop once Phase 1 registration results are posted, and will not be in Phase 2 registration.
Early Add/Drop Deadline: December 7, 2012.
LLM Students: This clinic is open to LLM students through an application process.

Enrollment Options: The Child Advocacy Clinic offers two different clinic options, a Spring-only clinic and a Winter-Spring clinic. This offering is for the Spring Child Advocacy Clinic. Spring clinical students work part-time, mainly at local organizations in the Greater Boston area, for 15-20 hours/week (3-4 clinical credits). Enrollment in the Spring clinic is capped at 14 students.

Fieldwork Component:  Students will be placed in a wide array of fieldwork settings, ranging from organizations providing individual advocacy, to those promoting systemic change through impact litigation and legislative reform, to grassroots organizing initiatives, to social enterprises. Some students will work for reform from within the system and others from outside. Students will work on different types of projects such as: developing legislative reform proposals, participating in mediations, doing in-court advocacy work, analyzing social science and psychological research, leveraging the media and writing op-ed articles, providing strategic advice to start-ups. For instance:

  • In the child welfare area, students may represent individual children who are abused and neglected, serve alongside District Attorneys prosecuting caretakers accused of child maltreatment, or work with a new social venture to engage the media to promote the interests of foster care youth.
  • In the education area, students may engage in efforts aimed at ensuring low-income students receive a high-quality education, advocate for children with special needs who are exposed to violence, work with a city councilor to improve Boston inner-city schools, or work with the state agency charged with overseeing schools on issues such as charter schools, assessment and accountability, student rights, and school discipline.
  • In the juvenile justice area, students may support legislative changes to improve conditions of confinement for juveniles, promote policies to reform the justice system for youth of color, or join efforts to combat life without parole sentences for juveniles.
  • Many placements cut across substantive areas. Students may serve as law clerks in the juvenile court, alongside mediators to resolve disputes involving children, with a non-profit serving homeless children, or with a medical-legal collaborative aimed at improving child well-being.

Visit the CAP website for a Master List of organizations where Spring clinic students have been placed in prior years.

Child Advocacy Clinic Fieldwork (Winter/Spring)

Ms. Jessica Budnitz
Winter 2013- Spring 2013 Clinic , Section 1
5-6 clinical credits

Co-requisite Class: Child Advocacy Clinical Seminar (2 Spring credits). Students must first enroll in the clinic before attempting to enroll in the class. The class can be added once Phase 1 results are posted.
Early Add/Drop Deadline: November 2, 2012.
Multi-Term: Winter-Spring clinic (2 Winter credits + 3-4 Spring credits).
LLM Students: May enroll through an application process.

Enrollment Options: There are two different clinic options, a Spring clinic and a Winter-Spring clinic -- this is for the Winter-Spring clinic. Students engage in full-time work in the Winter and part-time work in the Spring. Enrollment is capped at 8 students.

Fieldwork Component: The Winter-Spring clinic opens up the possibility of placement with model organizations throughout the U.S. and even internationally. Most students are placed in a distant placement for the Winter term. Students return to Cambridge in the Spring and continue working remotely for the same organization. A few students might be placed locally, working full-time in the Winter and then part-time at the same organization in the Spring. 

Visit the CAP website for a Master List of organizations where clinic Winter/Spring students have been placed in prior years.

See above for more about the fieldwork component of the Child Advocacy Clinic.

Last modified: April 22, 2014

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.