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Barton Child Law and Policy Center


The Barton Clinic was established in March 2000 to address the need in Georgia for an organization dedicated to effecting systemic policy and process changes for the benefit of the children in Georgia's child welfare system. The origins of the Barton Clinic are in Emory Law's Child Advocacy Project, which began in 1992 and provided summer internships in the field. The establishment of the year-round legal clinic with a full-time faculty was made possible by a grant from the Barton Fund. The goal was to help Georgia serve neglected and abused children by providing multidisciplinary, child-focused research, training, and support for practitioners and policymakers charged with protecting Georgia's children. In 2006, Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic was added to the Law and Policy Clinics to provide representation to youth in the delinquency system.

In 2010, the Barton Clinic was renamed the Barton Child Law and Policy Center in recognition of the growing work being performed and in recognition of the varied clinics and projects that had developed out of the work of the original Barton Clinic. Today, the Barton Center includes three clinics along with critical child protection work and advocacy for youth across a number of additional programs. As part of a major research university, Barton is perfectly situated to collaborate with Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and the Center for Violence Studies, as well as other Georgia colleges and universities.

While many people contributed to the center’s success, our special thanks go to founding director Karen Worthington, who led the center from 2000 until 2010, when she moved to Hawaii, and founding donors Michelle and Andy Barclay, who remain in Atlanta and continue to work for Georgia’s children. Barton Center is grateful for continued support from Emory Law, the support of individual donors, grants from foundations, and various other sources of external funding.