Florida’s Children First, the premier statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of at-risk children and youth, especially those in foster care, received from the Florida Bar Foundation the recipient of the 2015 Paul Doyle Children’s Advocacy Award for its “Counsel for Dependent Children with Special Needs” Project.
Through the passing of House Bill 561 last year, this project secured the right to counsel for dependent children in five categories. FCF and Florida Legal Services were also selected as second runner-up for the “Medicaid to Age 26” Project.
The awards were presented at Foundation’s 39th Annual Reception & Dinner at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.
“Since our beginning in 2002, Paul Doyle and the Foundation believed in FCF’s mission to seek legal representation for Florida’s most vulnerable children. To receive the Foundation’s most prestigious award is the highest achievement that we as an organization aspire to,” said Howard Talenfeld, president of FCF.
In the first six months after the bill was passed, more than 1,200 children in state care were appointed counsel under the law.
This biennial award is named for the Foundation’s longtime director of Legal Assistance for the Poor and Law Student Assistance grant programs in recognition of his commitment to high-quality legal representation of low-income children. The Paul Doyle Children’s Advocacy Award recognizes and encourages systemic legal advocacy on behalf of low-income children by Florida Bar Foundation Legal Assistance for the Poor General Support and Children’s Legal Services Grantees.
“Without the partnerships with all of our Legal Aid colleagues statewide, we could have never achieved these accomplishments,” said Christina Spudeas, Executive Director of FCF. “Working with these dedicated colleagues throughout the years has been the key to our successes.”
In addition to the organization accepting an award, FCF’s deputy director was also presented with a prestigious award for her years of contribution to field of child law. Robin Rosenberg was honored with the Hugh S. Glickstein Child Advocate of the Year award. Rosenberg has been a leader in litigation, pro bono and administrative reform to help the community’s most vulnerable children for more than 20 years. Rosenberg’s stellar record as a children’s law leader, educator, and practitioner makes her a standout in the children’s law professional community.