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Children's Legal
Services Campaign

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Austin's story Austin with his mother and legal aid attorney

By first grade, Austin had been diagnosed with Asperger's, attention deficit disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder and identified by his school district as having an emotional and behavioral disorder (EBD). Administrators had shuffled Austin around to three different schools but had failed to provide the evaluations and services to which the law entitled him. Instead of having the school system's experts address his behavioral and academic needs, school personnel were relying on his mother to be on call whenever they were unable to redirect his behaviors.

How legal aid helps

With the help of a legal aid attorney funded by The Florida Bar Foundation's Children's Legal Services Grant Program, Austin finally received the appropriate assessments, supports and services to give him the best chance to succeed academically and behaviorally.

Austin's story is real and not uncommon. That's why your help is needed.

One hundred percent of gifts to the Children's Legal Services Campaign go directly to Children's Legal Services grants, which are used to provide legal aid:

  • for learning disabled children in need of testing and educational services required by law
  • for children suspended from school or placed in the hands of juvenile justice authorities or law enforcement for behavior problems directly related to a disability
  • for older foster children who do not receive mandated independent living skills training and are simply removed from state care
  • for disabled children improperly denied federal disability benefits, or for foster children denied health care or mental health treatment ordered by the courts

The Florida Bar Foundation is a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the Foundation are deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

 

Children’s Legal Services Grants

Since 1999, The Florida Bar Foundation has funded special annual grants for legal assistance to children out of IOTA funds. Starting in 2000-01, gifts to the Foundation from The Florida Bar Fee Statement have supported these grants.

The Foundation's Children's Legal Services grants help provide access to special education and health-care services required under law and to engage pro bono attorneys to provide legal assistance for low-income children. Another goal is to create and energize a statewide network of children's legal services advocates. The network also can provide support to the thousands of Florida attorneys involved in Children's Legal Services through Guardian ad Litem and other pro bono projects.

In 2013-14, the Foundation gave Children's Legal Services grants totaling $910,000 to 17 children's legal services projects to help children like Austin become productive adults. All funds contributed to the Children's Legal Services Campaign provide direct support to programs that better the live of Florida's children. No administrative fees are deducted from these contributions.

2013-14 Children’s Legal Services Grants

How to Make a Gift on Your Florida Bar Fee Statement:

1) Fill in the amount of your tax-deductible contribution to The Florida Bar Foundation on the front of the annual Florida Bar Fee Statement in the box next to the suggested contribution level of $100. (Larger contributions are most welcome!)

2) Add the amount of the gift to the TOTAL PAID box and include it in the check total.

Or to Give Directly to the Foundation:

Donate online or send your tax-deductible gift payable to: The Florida Bar Foundation, 875 Concourse Parkway South, Suite 195, Maitland, FL 32751. Please earmark your gift for Children's Legal Services.

View the list of Children's Legal Services supporters.

For more information:

Michelle Fonseca, Development Coordinator
(407) 960-7000 or (800) 541-2195 (Toll free in Florida)