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Care & Protection (Abuse & Neglect)

Legal representation by CLCM lawyers in care & protection matters is dictated by court assignment. Law Center attorneys are certified by the state's Committee for Public Counsel Services' (CPCS) Children And Family Law (CAFL) Program to provide direct representation in such matters. These cases arise when the Department of Children & Families (DCF) intervenes in family life as a result of allegations of abuse or neglect. Once assigned to represent a child in a care and protection proceeding, the CLCM attorney may serve in that capacity for years, representing the child at the temporary custody hearing, an adjudicatory hearing (trial), visitation and related "abuse of discretion" hearings, and/or guardianship or termination of parental rights proceedings. In addition, the Law Center attorney will advocate administratively for his/her client before the DCF and other state agencies on any and all collateral matters affecting the client's well-being and safety. The mission of the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts is to promote and secure equal justice and to maximize opportunity for low-income children and youth by providing quality advocacy and legal services.

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