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Release date: Feb. 9, 2001
Contact: Elaine Justice, Assistant Director, 404-727-0643, or

Emory Awarded $94,000 To Expand Barton Child Law & Policy Clinic

Emory University School of Law has received a one-year, $94,000 grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to establish a senior policy fellow position within its Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic. Dr. Patrice Harris, a specialist in adolescent and forensic psychiatry, has been hired for the position.

"The Blank Foundation support will help the Barton Clinic expand its work at the legislative and policy level," said law school Dean Howard O. Hunter in announcing the grant. "The new fellow, Patrice Harris, will help the clinic achieve the goal of being a multi-disciplinary resource working with several of Emory’s schools."

"Dr. Harris brings a strong background in working with families involved with Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services as well as experience in providing policy information to legislators," says Karen Worthington, director of the Barton Clinic. "She will be coordinating the clinic’s work as the lead agency for the Georgia Children’s Agenda item of strengthening Child Protective Services’ capacity to protect children from abuse and neglect."

In this role, Harris will direct the work of students tracking legislation at the state capitol and be responsible for periodic legislative updates sent through the clinic’s listserv, which is open to anyone interested in staying informed about these issues in Georgia. After the legislative session, Harris will work on policy issues both through research and program implementation in collaboration with other child-serving organizations.

A graduate of West Virginia University School of Medicine, Harris completed residency in child and adolescent psychiatry and in forensic psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine.

"By integrating the fields of research and policy development in Georgia and using technology to connect various leaders and participants in the state’s child welfare system, the Barton Clinic is providing much-needed services to Georgians charged with protecting children," says Worthington.

The Barton Clinic was created in March 2000 to serve as a strong catalyst for systemic policy and process changes and improvements in Georgia’s child welfare practices. The clinic currently is staffed by four Emory law students and one master of social work student from Georgia State University. The clinic also directs the summer Child Advocacy Program, begun at the law school in 1992, in which students from Emory and other universities work in child advocacy positions across Georgia. In December the clinic expanded to include former state Sen. Mary Margaret Oliver, who is directing policy research at the clinic.

The Arthur M. Blank Foundation is committed to supporting programs and organizations that create opportunity, enhance self-esteem and increase awareness about cultural and community issues among young men and women


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