Attorneys for Children

At the Legal Aid Bureau, our Attorneys for Children (AFC) Unit provides legal representation and counsel to children of Erie County who are the subject of child welfare, juvenile justice, and related proceedings in Family Court.

Every day, our lawyers stand side-by-side with the most vulnerable children and youth in our community, giving them a clear and strong voice in decisions that affect their lives. It is our role, and privilege, to see life through the lens of each child we represent – and to bring their stories to the fore. Our clients often endure loss, trauma, poverty, exposure to violence, lack of medical care and school access and more. They may live at home with parents, with family, in foster care or in other residential settings. We are unwavering advocates for children in court proceedings designed to ensure their safety, well-being and, for those removed from their homes, “permanency planning” that meets their best interests. We represent our clients both inside and outside the courtroom, helping to address a wide spectrum of their life needs.

Our Team-Based Model of Representation: The hallmark of our AFC Unit is its team approach to client representation and service. Our staff includes lawyers, masters-level social workers and child advocates who work together to listen to children, to understand their needs and to serve them holistically. We are trained in child-centered trauma-informed practices and are sensitive to the unique needs of each child we serve, including LGBTQ youth and children with disabilities. Our education advocacy team provides essential additional support to address the school-based needs of our clients.  

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