2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Marisa Gold

Marisa Gold

Name of Host Organization: Lawyers for Children
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Children/Youth
Sponsors: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

The Project

Marisa provided targeted, direct representation to children who are victims of sexual abuse while in foster care in New York City in order to address their particular needs and created a replicable model of best practices for attorneys handling these types of cases.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
There are approximately 14,000 children in foster care in New York City, and it is estimated that more than 50 percent are or will be victims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is devastating for a child. It damages their ability to learn, grow, and develop healthy relation¬ships and can negatively affect them throughout their entire lives. This project aims to fill the gap in specialized legal services available to support this vulnerable population.
Fellowship Highlights: 
During her Fellowship, Marisa has:
• Provided full representation in Family Court to more than 130 clients in abuse, neglect, custody, and voluntary foster care cases
• Created resource guides for children who have been sexually abused or are involved in the commercial sex industry
• Strengthened relationships with service providers and agencies that provide aid to victims of sexual abuse and trafficking
• Maintained a bank of case law and model motions for project-related issues
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Marisa will continue her project at Lawyers for Children as a Staff Attorney on the Sexual Abuse Education and Evaluation Project.

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