The Betty Sams Christian Child Health Advocacy Program (CHAP) at the University of Virginia is a unique medical-legal collaboration between the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, the University of Virginia School of Law, and the Legal Aid Justice Center that provides legal assistance to low-income families whose children receive their health care at the University of Virginia.
Volunteers from the Legal Aid Justice Center are available in our clinic to help families with a variety of legal problems that affect their health and well-being, including problems related to benefits, housing, family, school, and consumer issues. Our program has grown steadily since its beginning in 2004 and is now on track to serve 200 families each year. We have just received an award of $125,000 from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to be used to hire an attorney to work on-site at the UVA Children’s Hospital, to increase family access to legal services.
- To provide legal advocacy to families needing legal assistance with such needs as housing, public benefits, school services, child support, disability, consumer law, etc., identified during the course of patient care, to positively impact child health outcomes.
- To train medical staff about legal issues that affect family and child health.
- To develop a statewide network of child health advocacy programs that effectively links health systems, legal aid offices, and law schools in order to better serve families throughout Virginia; such a network will include statewide data collection for outcomes and patient-family satisfaction, as well as on-going site development and support of new programs.
- To pursue systemic policy advocacy to effect positive changes for Virginia’s families.
You may fax a referral form to legal aid or make a referral through our social worker, Greg Nelsen, at 924-5851.
Advocacy Code Card – Contact information for community resources in Charlottesville, Albemarle and surrounding counties
A Virginia Guide to Program Development – Available to those interested in setting up a child health advocacy program. Call 434-924-9130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Child Health Advocacy Program Training – Diane Pappas and Kimberly Emery, Assistant Dean for Pro Bono and Public Interest, are available to provide training sessions to sites interested in developing a child health advocacy program. Plans are underway to develop a statewide CHAP network. Call 434-924-9130 or email email@example.com for more information.
Program Evaluation and Patient-Family Outcomes Evaluation – Evaluation tools are under development.
Consultations – Health care providers may contact Carolyn Pinter at 977-0553 to arrange a consultation.