Grant to expand Legal Aid for Children and Families

The DMC Foundation has granted Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc. (LAD) $80,000 over two years to expand a medical-legal partnership that provides free legal services to low- income families with children whose medical issues can be relieved by legal intervention. The partnership is Legal Aid for Children and Families (LACF), formed by Beaumont Health and LAD in 2009 to improve the health and welfare of low-income children and their families by addressing the underlying causes of poor health among children.

Modeled after the Boston Medical Center's Family Advocacy program, LACF is Michigan's first medical-legal partnership to provide free, on-site legal assistance to low-income pediatric and obstetric patients.

LACF currently provides free legal services to patients through Beaumont Health's Royal Oak campus and the Brightmoor Health Outreach Collaborative (BHOC) in the Brightmoor community in Detroit.

Currently, LACF is supported by grants from the Beaumont Foundation and the Oakland County Bar Foundation.

"Traditionally law and health care treat the problems of health and adverse conditions in silos, separate and apart from one another," LAD said in its grant application to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which is supported by the DMC Foundation. "Medical legal partnerships seek to bring these two communities together by making the legal service provider a part of the medical treatment team."

The grant will enable LAD to expand LACF to Beaumont Health's Grosse Pointe campus, in part by hiring a staff attorney to work there full time under the supervision of Regina Daniels Thomas, deputy chief counsel for community relations and governmental affairs for LAD's Civil Law Group.

The DMC Foundation is dedicated to promoting the welfare of the general public in the metropolitan Detroit area through the support of health-related research, education and activities that benefit the community. For further information, visit www.dmcfound.org/.

LAD is metropolitan Detroit's premier public service law firm, serving residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit.  Anyone seeking legal services can call 877-64-4700 or visit www.ladadetroit.org.