July 24, 2017 - I hope you all are enjoying your summer, relaxing with family and friends. The June/July Buzz focuses on the families Legal Aid serves through its Relative Caregivers Project. The Project was established in 2002 and provides legal representation and support for grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives who are caretakers for minor children due to the inability of their parents to provide for their basic needs. The parents’ failure is in most situations due to substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues, and/or criminal behavior.
The Project’s objectives are two-fold. One is to keep these children out of the dependency system where there is a relative willing and able to provide for their care and second to achieve permanency for the child(ren).
The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County is the principal funder of the Relative Caregivers Project with additional funding provided through the Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, Inc. and the Henry Nias Foundation. The Project serves 230 children annually. Donna’s story, which is contained in this edition of the Buzz, sadly demonstrates what is all too often a typical scenario in these cases.
This issue also spotlights our Relative Caregivers Project staff which includes Attorney Judy Migdal-Mack who has been supervising the program for the past nine (9) years and our newest staff member, Paralegal Lanice Peterson who was previously employed by the Department of Children and Families Children’s Legal Services.
We also highlight our Board of Directors member Matthew Sackel who is a partner with the Shutts & Bowen law firm. Matt and his firm are major supporters of Legal Aid as well as many other community organizations. They are also committed to the idea of equal access to civil justice to all residents of Palm Beach County.
If you want to help us support many more clients, please consider donating to our services by clicking here.