Children’s Rights

The Children’s Rights Division attorneys represent the overwhelming majority of children who are the subject of cases before the Rockland County Family Court. Formerly known as Law Guardians, our attorneys are now referred to as “Attorneys for the Child” and play a critical role in Family Court proceedings.

family hands

The Role of Children's Rights Attorneys

The role of the Children’s Rights attorneys acting as the Attorneys for the Child is to provide legal representation, express the clients’ wishes to the court, and safeguard the legal rights of these clients. They are assigned by the Family Court judges and remain active through the original case and any supplemental proceedings, which frequently takes place over a period of years. To enhance the quality and expand the scope of advocacy, the Children’s Rights Division has a social worker on staff to ensure that the educational, social, and psychological issues that arise in Family Court proceedings are adequately addressed.

Each year, Legal Aid of Rockland County
represents Children in Family Court




Our attorneys for children are appointed by the family court and advocate for the children in cases involving:

abuse and neglect
juvenile delinquency
PINS Petitions
custody and visitation
Immigration - Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
family offenses
foster care
permanency hearings

We gratefully acknowledge the support of

Education & Community Advocacy Project

Every child has the right to learn and all children can succeed when provided with the necessary tools. The mission of the Education & Community Advocacy Project is to ensure equal access to education by assisting clients in enforcing their education rights. We provide specialized advocacy in school related matters for youth who are involved in Rockland County Family Court cases.  Additionally, in an effort to close achievement gaps and to eliminate disparities in learning, we monitor concerning trends that warrant systemic advocacy and intervene accordingly.

If the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County currently represents you or your child in Family Court and you need help with an education issue, please contact Candice Whatley at (845) 666-3182 or call the main number for further assistance. These are some matters we can help with:

School Discipline
Removals from Class
Manifestation Determination Reviews

Special Education
Referrals for Evaluation
Developing an Effective Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Denial of Services/Additional Services Needed
Alternative School Placements

English Language Learner’s Rights
Poor or Failing Grades
Registration and Enrollment Issues
Home Instruction/Home Schooling

Our experienced, caring staff can protect your rights and help you understand your options.