Legal intervention to protect the rights of children — for example, addressing benefit eligibility, housing problems, immigration status and family law questions — can be a necessary step in meeting their health needs.
In 2001, Volunteers of Legal Service launched its Children's Project, which provides free legal services to low-income children in New York City hospitals.
- Volunteers provided legal assistance to 41 children and their families. Examples include:
- Assisting the father of a three-year-old HIV-positive child to establish paternity in Family Court.
- Representing a chronically-ill six-year-old, her two-year-old sister and their mother before the city's Emergency Assistance Unit.
- Obtaining a visa to allow the mother of a teenage boy who required a kidney transplant to come to New York from Colombia.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a grant of $35,000 from November 2001 to October 2002.