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Emory Law News Center


Barton Center clinics partner with Morehouse School of Medicine to promote child well-being

Carter and Waldman

Under the direction and leadership of Dr. Sarah Vinson, an Emory-trained Child and Forensic Psychiatrist, Morehouse School of Medicine has established a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Fellowship.  It is the first HBCU to have such a fellowship, and the Barton Law and Policy Center will play a role in this new opportunity aimed at promoting health equity and the well-being of children and youth. Barton Center’s Director and Law Professor Melissa Carter and Juvenile Defender Clinic Director and Law Professor Randee Waldman hold adjunct faculty appointments that serve to formalize and institutionalize the programmatic partnership between the Barton Center and the Morehouse CAP Fellowship. Starting this year, the CAP Fellows will complete clinical rotations with the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic and the Legislative Advocacy Clinic, helping the Barton Center to achieve its objective to provide contextually rich, multidisciplinary experiential learning opportunity for the law and other graduate students who enroll in its clinics.  

CAP second-year fellows will be at the Barton clinics for two rotations, one for legal consult and the other for advocacy. The legal consult rotation involves working with children, adolescents and families who are involved with the Department of Juvenile Justice. The child fellows work with Waldman, law students, and the supervising faculty member Dr. Sarah Vinson. Rotation activities may include forensic consultation in manifestation hearings or individualized educational plan meetings for youth eligible for special education in schools or juvenile delinquency court proceedings. The advocacy rotation involves working with lobbyists, physician advocates, nonprofit advocacy organizations, and state legislators to design and advance policies impacting children, adolescents, and families. During this aspect of the rotation, the fellows work with Carter.

Carter says of the partnership, “We are excited about the benefits of this new partnership with Morehouse, which will deepen our integration of theory with practice and enrich the clinical experiences we offer to Emory Law students as they prepare to enter the legal profession.  The Barton Center seeks to promote greater justice and improved life outcomes for children, youth, and families, and we are better prepared to advance that goal with the added expertise of psychiatric physicians working alongside the law, public health, theology, and social work graduate students involved in our work through existing cross-campus and university partnerships.”