MFY serves children and adolescents with mental illness through medical legal partnerships (MLP) with Bellevue and Kings County Hospitals. MFY attorneys work on-site two days a week at Bellevue’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and one day a week at Kings County Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services. The attorneys participate in clinical rounds with medical staff, and the doctors and social workers at the respective hospitals identify problems and refer patients to the attorneys.
The overarching objective of these partnerships is to ensure that families have access to the legal care they need to resolve health-harming legal problems that may impact a child’s recovery and to address related family issues. By resolving legal problems, families can focus on helping children to get well.
MFY provides legal advice and representation to these children and their families in the areas of special education and government benefits. Representation includes impartial hearings, suspension hearings, fair hearings, and disability hearings, as well as appropriate appeals to state and federal courts. MFY also advocates for these children at the Department of Education, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Social Security Administration, and the Human Resources Administration.
MFY’s work for Children with Mental Illness receives pro bono support from attorneys at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, who represent children at individual education program (IEP) meetings to assist parents to address improper IEPs, or the absence or deficiency of educational services.