CAP

CAP Courses: 2013-14

In Academic Year 2013-14, CAP is offering the following courses:

  1. Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice (Fall)
  2. Family Law (Fall)**
  3. Future of the Family: Adoption, Reproduction and Child Welfare (Spring)
  4. Child Advocacy Clinic (Winter/Spring OR Spring)

**IMPORTANT NOTE: Family Law and Child, Family, and State are taught in alternating years by CAP Faculty Director Elizabeth Bartholet.

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

Fall term
Thurs 5:00 - 7:00 PM

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 (alternating years), Family Law (alternating years), 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.


Family Law

Fall term
Tues, Wed, 10:30 AM - 12 PM

Professor Elizabeth Bartholet
3 classroom credits

How society structures family says much about its values. This course will examine major legal and constitutional trends shaping family, and the values they reflect. We will look at how law shapes the meaning of parenthood and childhood, and how it weighs child as compared to adult rights. We will look at the changing nature of family, including non-traditional family forms (e.g. same-sex unions, single parent households, cohabitation, foster families), and consider what legal regime is appropriate, given our visions of what family does and should mean. We will examine issues surrounding procreation, marriage, divorce, child maltreatment and related state intervention, adoption, and assisted reproductive technology.

This course is part of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP), whose other courses are: Child, Family & State (alternate years); The Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, & Juvenile Justice; the Child Advocacy Clinic; and the Future of the Family Seminar. Enrollment in all the CAP courses is encouraged but not required.

Cross-registrannts are welcome.

Text is Dwyer, Family Law: Theoretical, Comparative, and Social Science Perspectives (2012).

Laptops cannot be used in class. Grades will be based on one-day take-home exam, with consideration given to class performance if class size is less than fifty.


Future of the Family: Adoption, Reproduction and Child Welfare

Spring term
Thurs 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Prof. Elizabeth Bartholet
2 classroom credits

This seminar is for students interested in writing a research paper on any issue related to the above range of topics, as well as for students interested in doing papers on ideas explored in connection with any Child Advocacy Program (CAP) course (Child, Family & State, Family Law, The Art of Social Change, CAP Clinic). Initial class sessions will focus on readings related to general substantive area and also research and writing issues, and later sessions will focus on student work. Students will receive extensive guidance and feedback on their writing.

Students must attend scheduled meetings with the Professor prior to the start of the Spring term to discuss potential paper topics. Possible issue areas include but are not limited to: parenting and procreation; child maltreatment and related state intervention; high-tech infertility treatment; the commercialization of reproduction (sale of eggs, sperm, embryos and pregnancy services); non-traditional family forms (single parenting, same-sex unions and marriage, transracial and international adoption); and fetal abuse, sex selection, cloning, stem cell research and the new eugenics options.

Requirements include: regular attendance, active participation, presentation of own work, feedback on others' work, and a research paper. Students are encouraged to write a substantial paper for an additional credit; this can be used to satisfy the School's Written Work Requirement.

Students must make add/drop decision by no later than Friday Jan 17, 2014 at 10 am. Students wanting to add/drop after this deadline can do so only with permission of the Professor. Students failing to attend mandatory pre-term meeting to discuss paper topic will be dropped from seminar.

Permission required for 1Ls and cross-registrants.


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

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

Required Clinic Component: Child Advocacy Clinic, either during the winter-spring (2 winter credits + 3 or 4 spring credits) or spring (3 or 4 spring credits). Students must enroll in one of the two clinic offerings (winter-spring or spring) before they are permitted to enroll in this required course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: November 1, 2013 for winter-spring clinical students. December 6, 2013 for spring clinical students.
LLM Students: LLM students are not eligible to enroll in the winter-spring clinic. LLM students may apply to the spring clinic by submitting an application.

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 seminar and a clinical fieldwork component. There are two different clinical fieldwork options: (1) winter-spring clinic and (2) spring clinic. 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 seminar, students bring into the classroom their varied experiences, not only discussing specific cases/projects they are engaged in, but also their organization’s larger vision for improving conditions for children and families. Students have the chance to reflect on which strategies in the field are working and why. Each student gives one presentation during the term, often in combination with the fieldwork supervisor.

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.

Once enrolled in the Clinic, CAP will provide students a list of fieldwork placement sites and possible projects. Students will give CAP information about their background and interests and rank their placement preferences. They will be matched with a placement to the degree possible in accordance with their preferences. Visit the Child Advocacy Program (CAP) website for more about the Clinic, including Frequently Asked Questions.

Child Advocacy Clinic Fieldwork (Spring)

Ms. Jessica Budnitz
Spring Term
3 or 4 clinical credits (plus 2 required classroom credits)

Required Class Component: Child Advocacy Clinical Seminar (2 spring credits). Students must enroll in this clinic before they are permitted to enroll in the required course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: December 6, 2013.
LLM Students: LLM students may apply to this clinic by submitting an application.
Placement Site: Various placements.  Click here for a master list of placement sites since CAP’s inception.

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 seminar and clinical fieldwork component. A variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children are addressed with a focus on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice. The Clinic is relevant for students not only with a particular interest in children's issues but also for those more generally interested in social change.

Enrollment Options: The Child Advocacy Clinic offers two different clinical fieldwork 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 (15-20 hours/week for 3-4 clinical credits) at local organizations in the Greater Boston area. Enrollment in the spring clinic is capped at 14 students.

Fieldwork Component: Students are 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: engage in courtroom advocacy; participate in school and home visits; assist with interviews of child victims; analyze social science and psychological research; leverage the media and write op-ed articles; prepare for city council or legislative hearings; provide trainings to youth, parents, teachers, attorneys, and police officers; develop legislative reform proposals; participate in mediations; and provide strategic advice to start-ups. For instance:

  • In the child welfare area, CAP 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, CAP students may engage in efforts to advance educational outcomes for low-income students, participate in a campaign to provide children access to high quality early education, 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, CAP students may support legislative changes to improve conditions of confinement for juveniles, promote policies to reform the justice system for youth of color, develop programs to improve police-youth interactions, 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.

Matching Process: Once enrolled in the Clinic, CAP will provide students a list of fieldwork placement sites and possible projects. Students will give CAP information about their background and interests and rank their placement preferences. They will be matched with a placement to the degree possible in accordance with their preferences.

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 2014- Spring 2014 Clinic
5 or 6 clinical credits (plus 2 required classroom credits)

Required Class Component: Child Advocacy Clinical Seminar (2 spring classroom credits). Students must enroll in this clinic before they are permitted to enroll in the required course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: November 1, 2013.
LLM Students:  LLM students are not eligible to apply.
Multi-Semester:  This is a winter-spring clinic (2 winter clinical credits + 3 or 4 spring clinical credits).
Placement Site:  Various placements.  Click here for a master list of placement sites since CAP’s inception.

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 seminar and clinical fieldwork component. A variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children are addressed with a focus on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice. The Clinic is relevant for students not only with a particular interest in children's issues but also for those more generally interested in social change.

Enrollment Options: The Child Advocacy Clinic offers two different clinical fieldwork options: a spring-only clinic and a winter-spring clinic. This offering is for the winter-spring Child Advocacy Clinic. Students engage in full-time work in the winter and part-time work (15-20 hours/week for 3-4 clinical credits) in the spring. Enrollment is capped at 8 students.

Fieldwork Component: The winter-spring clinic places students 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. One or two students might be placed locally, working full-time in the winter for a Boston-area organization and then part-time at the same organization in the spring.

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 placed remotely through the winter-spring option will not primarily be engaged in direct service work. Students will work on different types of projects – some of which are “hands on” – such as: draft memoranda and briefs for litigation; develop legislative reform proposals; analyze social science and psychological research; leverage the media; engage in written work for a variety of types of publications (legal journals, popular press, guides for practitioners, content for websites); provide strategic advice to start-ups; create, conduct, and analyze interviews. For instance:

  • In the child welfare area, students may work with a leading boutique impact litigation firm challenging states’ treatment of youth in foster care; with a new social venture to engage the media to promote the interests of foster care youth; with a model problem solving court for drug addicted parents.
  • In the education area, students may work alongside lawyers and community organizers to advocate for improved educational opportunities for low-income students; engage in efforts to ensure incarcerated youth receive high quality schooling.
  • In the juvenile justice area, students may develop trainings in best practices for staff at juvenile incarceration facilities; fight for improved conditions of confinement for juveniles; advocate for offenders who have received life without parole sentences as juveniles.

Matching Process: Once enrolled in the Clinic, CAP will provide students a list of fieldwork placement sites and possible projects. Students will give CAP information about their background and interests and rank their placement preferences. They will be matched with a placement to the degree possible in accordance with their preferences.

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

 

 

Last modified: December 19, 2014

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