The Florida Young Lawyer Division, in collaboration with the Florida Bar Foundation and the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association, is launching a program to help fill the access to justice gap for low-income families in Florida by providing short, online training (CLE credit too!) for attorneys so they can assist children and families secure non-contested, routine temporary custody orders so children in the state of Florida can obtain the care and resources they need.
In many families, parents are not able to care for and act on behalf of their children. This may be because the parent is disabled, dealing with an illness, on military deployment, or incarcerated. Children rely on loving adults and nourishment resources to grow and thrive. With a temporary relative custody order in place, children have an extended family member, often a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or older sibling, who can ensure that the child’s needs are being met at home, at school, and in health care settings. It means the child is “on solid ground” when education, housing, and health issues require an advocate.
Due to limited financial resources, legal services staff attorneys across the State must focus on more critical and complex legal matters such as cases involving domestic violence, foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, housing, and discrimination. The Youth on Solid Ground Pro Bono Project provides valuable legal assistance by pro bono attorneys for families that are currently unrepresented in the area of temporary relative custody.
This Youth on Solid Ground Project is designed to help any attorney make an enormous impact in the life of a child with the commitment of only a few hours of time. Helping is easy with two steps:
STEP 1: View a Free Training Seminar with CLE Credit
Next month, the YLD will launch a link on its Youth on Solid Ground web page on its website at https://flayld.org where YLD members will have immediate access to educational resources that provide training and document templates for temporary custody orders. In addition, YLD attorneys will be paired with a mentor attorney who will be happy to provide guidance and field questions.
STEP 2: Sign up to Assist
The Youth on Solid Ground web page will also have contact information for the legal aid society in your region, so you can sign up to assist. You will be able to easily locate the coordinator in your Circuit or County and send that person an email. They will then put you in touch with a child and family that you can help.
The program will be launching next month, so stay tuned for more updates!
H. Web Melton III is a shareholder at the law firm of Bush Ross P.A. in Tampa. He practices primarily in the area of condominium and homeowner association law.