Nonprofit provides legal aid to children in child protection services

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On Tuesday, the non-profit association entered into another agreement with Hennepin County to help children ages 10 to 21, whose parents lost their rights due to abandonment. , abuse or neglect. The agreement is effective until February 29, 2020.


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They have a partnership with the county since 2015.

"Imagine that you are 12 years old and that you are taking away from your parents and that you suddenly find yourself thrown into a foster family, with a family that you have never met and that you you do not know why and you do not know if you're going back, "said Panteleeva.

Last year, they pleaded for 309 children in Hennepin County. The need has increased every year.

In 2015, they helped 149 clients across the county. In 2016, it was expanded to 203 customers and in 2017 to 248 customers in Hennepin County.

"We were wondering if this increase would eventually cap and, for now, it has not been for us," she said.

Panteleeva said that more and more children were entering the child protection system, partly because of the increase in the number of people reporting cases, the epidemic opioid and McKenna's law.

The law came into effect in 2017 and requires social workers to tell children in foster care that they are entitled to a lawyer.

"[The increase] it's something we're really watching, "said County Commissioner Marion Greene. "One of the reasons we're grateful to the Children & # 39; s Law Center for providing data is to stay informed about the situation and know their numbers, growth, growth and responsiveness to need. "

The new agreement includes $ 153,000 for the non-profit. Greene said that they would increase future funding to meet needs.

"If these lawyers were not generous with their time, expertise and heart, they probably would not have a legal representative," Greene said. "The constancy offered by the lawyer is really beneficial to the child, far beyond the peculiarities of the litigation but by having a loving adult who cares about his or her future."

The Children's Law Center also helps youth from outside Hennepin County. They had a total of 927 customers in 2018. They are asking the heads of state for $ 400,000 in 2020 and 2021 to meet the demand.