CHICAGO MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP FOR CHILDREN (CMLPC)
The Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (CMLPC) is designed to improve patients’ access to healthcare and public benefits. By addressing the full continuum of children’s needs, lawyers and health care providers working together can help prevent illness and also tackle social and economic barriers that can impact access to health care and health outcomes. Attorneys working at partnership sites are available to provide legal services in hospital and pediatric medical clinics to low-income families. In addition, they offer legal consultation to healthcare providers and social workers to facilitate solutions for their patients who are experiencing legal problems. This collaborative approach combines traditional medical care with a new outlet for legal advice to help individuals obtain the benefits and services they need to follow their medical treatment plans. In addition, healthcare providers now have access to legal resources, something not typically available in a medical care setting.
Services are delivered through the program’s three main components: direct legal services; policy development; and technical assistance and training. Attorneys, working at hospitals and pediatric medical clinics, help families address a range of legal issues including: Public Benefits (SSI, TANF and Food Stamps); Medicaid and private insurance issues; Housing (eviction and conditions cases); the Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC); Domestic Violence; Early Intervention (EI), and Early Childhood, School-Age and Youth Transition Special Education services. We then use examples from our legal services to guide policy efforts. This includes regular communication with local, state and federal agencies to help resolve recurring issues, such as: substandard housing conditions; lead poisoning and other environmental hazards; barriers to Medicaid; SSI enrollment difficulties; and barriers to accessing EI services. We then shares the information learned from its policy development and legal services experiences with health care professionals through its educational component which provides regular in-service trainings and materials to: doctors, nurses, social workers, providers, residents and medical students.
The CMLPC provides services through its partner organizations. This collaboration teams up lawyers from Health & Disability Advocates (HDA)—a non-profit legal group specializing in public benefits law—with lawyers from the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago—the Chicago area legal services provider. In addition, these two organizations receive pro bono legal assistance from the private law firm of McDermott Will & Emery.
For more information about the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, click on one of the links below.
- Background Information and Media Coverage
- Project Sites and Partners
- Legal Services Provided and Referral Forms
- Public Benefits and Social Services Resource Materials
- Systemic Advocacy and Policy Development
To learn about HDA's earlier medical-legal collaboration, Project Access click here.
For information about Medical-Legal Partnerships in other states click here.
For the latest edition of HDA Tips, updated for 2013, click here.
For more information on the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children or if you are interested in developing a Medical-Legal Partnership, contact Project Director Amy Zimmerman directly at: (312) 223- 9600, Fax: (312) 223-9518, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online LibraryHDA has a wide variety of documents related to programs & services for children and medical-legal collaborations in our online Materials Library.
Here are some of the valuable resources you'll find there:
HDA TIPS (formerly known as TAP TIPS) are a public benefits resource guide for case managers, social workers, and healthcare professionals to use in answering questions that they or their clients have about the specific programs and services available to them. This pocket advocacy guide was updated in September, 2008.
The 2007 Children's Health Policy Report describes the recent health care expansions for children in Illinois and explains HDA's role in furthering those expansions. In particular, the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (CMLPC) has played a key role in identifying systemic barriers to health care coverage for Illinois' children.
This presentation offers the medical provider's perspective on the effectiveness and efficiency of medical-legal collaborations.