Taught by Professor Amy Halbrook and Susie Bookser
Under the supervision of the clinic faculty, students work on two to three cases representing children primarily in delinquency, custody and visitation, and school matters. They also have at least policy project during the course of a semester.
- Isabelle Buhr, LAW 909 student
The students of LAW 909-001
Founded in 1848, DCCH Center for Children and Families’ mission is to provide compassionate care and quality services that bring children and families together for a bright, happy, and healthy future.
The center is a multi-service agency focusing on residential treatment for survivors of child abuse and neglect, foster care and adoption, behavioral therapy, targeted case management, and independent living for young adults aging out of foster care.
Stacy Neurohr, grant coordinator, DCCH:
DCCH is grateful for the support from the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project at NKU. The students I worked with to complete the grant application were professional and curious about our organization. They were quick to reply to questions and easy to collaborate with.
Funds from the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project will be allocated to food, clothing, specialized educational services, and trauma-informed behavioral therapy for survivors of child abuse in our Residential Treatment Program. This grant is even more impactful in light of the current COVID crisis, as our revenues have been significantly impacted by event cancelations and program stoppages.
Adapted from the agency’s website:
The Women’s Crisis Center is a community center offering comprehensive services for people impacted by domestic violence and sexual abuse, while transforming our community through violence prevention. The center serves all individuals who have experienced domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault.
Reagan Smith, Women’s Crisis Center:
“It was an honor to engage with NKU Law Students throughout the process of the Mayerson Student Philanthropy project. It is always exciting as a professional to get to know the students involved and hear what our up and coming leaders are thinking about and interested in when it comes to philanthropy and the non-profit community.
“I always find it a privilege to speak about Women's Crisis Center during the process and engage students in our mission and what our current needs as an agency are.
“WCC is thrilled that we were selected for the grant funds this semester. This funding is coming to us in a much needed season as we continue to serve survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will be used to help us in our efforts to immediately shelter survivors and their children and help survivors maintain housing during this health crisis.
“To promote healthy social distancing and ensure families are healthy before entering our residential shelter, we have been placing clients in hotels until they can safely enter shelter and we also are prepared to help provide emergency funds to help survivors stay in their own safe housing through emergency funds for utilities, rent, and other housing costs if needed.
“We are so grateful that the Mayerson Student Philanthropy project is partnering with us through these funds to serve our clients during this challenging time.”
The onset of COVID-19’s threat affected all NKU classes participating in the student philanthropy program during the Spring 2020 semester. One class responded by agreeing to do a second review of the applicants for their grant and explore whether the class might be able to invest in a COVID-19 response effort.
That class was Professor Amy Halbrook’s class, LAW 909-001 Children’s Law Clinic.
Programmatically, NKU was able to provide an “extra” $1,000 to the class for this supplemental gift, and students in the class went to work quickly in March to decide where to invest.
What follows is a reflection from one student in the class, Isabelle Buhr, about how this was accomplished and the value of this effort to the class.
COPING WITH COVID: A CHALLENGE MET by Isabelle Buhr
When the world shut down during NKU’s Spring Break, and the entire school moved to online delivery of classes and clinic meetings, there was a lot in jeopardy.
How would we cope with not having regular access to our professors’ expertise and time? How would we cope with an entirely new style of learning? Would we be able to study effectively? And what about research in the community? Would that be at a complete standstill?
Those questions were all very much at the forefront of our minds when the whole world went virtual back in March. Our class at the Children’s Law Center Clinic was in the middle of determining the recipient of our Mayerson Project funding. We had sent out RFPs, we had gotten a few back, and we were supposed to be in the middle of site visits, to narrow down the pool.
Of course, with social distancing guidelines and quarantine restrictions in place to protect vulnerable populations, that couldn’t happen. But, our class stepped up. We all got more comfortable on the phone. We did “virtual site visits.” Some of us just spoke with representatives at sites, while some sites did tours with their phone cameras panning around the facility so we could still see how things worked.
That was our first hurdle, and we cleared it with air to spare. But as we all became more aware of the impact of COVID-19 on our already vulnerable communities, we all wanted to do more. So, when Amy Halbrook said that we might be able to get additional funding to give to an organization that was specifically offering aid to those affected by the pandemic, we jumped at the chance.
This was all in the middle of us getting used to distance learning, still trying to keep in touch with clinic clients via Zoom and phone calls, and trying not to lose our minds while in isolation - with or without kids!)
We reached out to some of our organizations again, after we had chosen the first organization for our original funding. We spoke with them about what they were doing to help those impacted by the pandemic, and whether this new funding could be put toward that effort.
This opened a whole new side of many of these organizations, as they scrambled to adjust to the pandemic. When we presented our findings to the class, we were all touched. This decision was more difficult than the decision to choose a recipient of the original funding, because by this point, we were all very aware of the impact COVID was having on our community. In the end, we decided to give to the organization where the funding would have the greatest impact.
The entire second half of this semester has been a massive challenge on all fronts. But, through the Mayerson Project, we were able to take a moment to step back and look at the challenges that people in our communities were facing, and think about how we could help. It was a challenge, a learning experience, and a blessing, all at once.