Edgy conference

Blakely Hamilton
Blakely Hamilton
JD
Children's Law Center of California
Blakely Hamilton
Blakely Hamilton is an attorney at Children's Law Center of California, where she is a part of CLC's Mental Health Advocacy Team. CLC’s Mental Health Advocacy Team (MHAT) works to improve the emotional well-being and functioning of CLC clients by providing service and placement recommendations and supporting CLC attorneys in their efforts to advocate for those recommendations. Ms. Hamilton uses her extensive courtroom experience to work collaboratively with case-carrying attorneys and other CLC specialists to develop a support plan with recommendations, resources, and referrals. MHAT team members attend CFTMs, hospital discharge meetings, and other multidisciplinary meetings to advocate for each foster youth referred to the program. Ms. Hamilton received her undergraduate degree from New York University and her J.D. from University of Southern California. Blakely is a Child Welfare Law Specialist certified by the National Association of Counsel for Children and the state bar of California.

SESSION OVERVIEW

Child Welfare & Juvenile Justice
LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in the child welfare system. Involvement in this system can be daunting and overwhelming, but LGBTQ+ youth face additional challenges which require strong advocacy. Name and gender changes, court approval for medical care related to transitioning, and ensuring that youth are living in affirmative placements are just a few examples of the special needs of this population. In addition, they share the need for trauma-informed care, mental health services, and a variety of other needs common to foster youth. Children’s Law Center of California not only represents youth in legal proceedings, but also works to ensure the needs of the whole child are met. Presenters will discuss their work with LGBTQ+ youth and identify ways in which participants can help these youth navigate the Dependency system and ensure their needs are being met.