2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Nicole Bates

Nicole Bates

Name of Host Organization: Legal Services for Children
City, State: San Francisco, California
Issue area: Children/Youth
Sponsors: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

The Project

Nicole provided trauma-informed legal advocacy for children in Bayview Hunters Point (Bayview), San Francisco designed to serve as a model for future Legal Services for Children (LSC) community-based clinics.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Bayview has been identified as one of the Bay Area’s five extreme poverty communities with over 40% of residents living below the federal poverty line. Despite the critical need for services, residents (particularly children) do not have access to free legal services. Through the collaboration with the Center for Youth Wellness clinic, Nicole and LSC staff attorneys and social workers are providing holistic legal and case management services to children in Bayview. This project is making LSC’s guardianship, education, immigration, and dependency services accessible to an underserved community and plays a preventive role in addressing their legal needs in a way that responds to their histories of trauma.
Fellowship Highlights: 
In the past two years, Nicole has:
• Directly represented children in their school discipline matters, guardianship cases, and dependency matters
• Identified and collaborated with youth-serving organizations in Bayview to increase access points for children and youth needing LSC’s services
• Implemented Know Your Rights training for parents and community advocates to empower them with legal tools
Where are they now?: 
In the next year, Nicole plans to:
• Strengthen collaboration between organizations in Bayview, ensuring the delivery of comprehensive legal, wellness, and social services for disadvantaged children and their families
• Continue working with abused and neglected children at Legal Services for Children

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