A few days into the 2023 Virginia General Assembly session, VPLC learned that an “earned wage access” lender had talked two legislators into filing legislation to “regulate” the industry. The 2023 General Assembly rejected the legislation. However, it appears that there will be another effort to pass legislation in the 2024 General Assembly. What is […]VPLC’s Invitation to Oliver Anthony: Join Us!
Odds are, by now you’ve heard about that song from a country singer in Farmville, Virginia, who performs under the stage name Oliver Anthony. As he belts “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Mr. Anthony raises an important issue that we here at VPLC care about and work hard to change: that working class and lower-income people work hard […]If Children Are the Future, We Should Start Acting Like It.
While June, Family Reunification Month in Virginia and nationwide, has come to a close, its core commitment to doing what’s best for children’s development is a year-long pursuit. Children separated from their families and placed in foster care are more likely to struggle as adults. Across Virginia and the United States, children are taken away […]Helping Families Thrive: A New Approach to Child Abuse Prevention
Author: Valerie L’Herrou/VPLC Family & Child Welfare Attorney Around the country and here in Virginia, every April is designated “Child Abuse Prevention Month.” But at VPLC, we think this term is misleading. Why? Because we believe that the best way to help children is to help families thrive. Most cases of child abuse are actually cases […]Important News for SNAP Recipients Thousands of Virginia Children Risk Losing Health Insurance When Virginia fails to provide meaningful legal representation to parents, it’s rural, low-income, and Black families who are torn apart.
Author: Anna Daniszewski/VPLC Legal Fellow Impressive reporting from Cardinal News this week shows the crisis of parents’ legal representation in Virginia. Services providers for children and even a county attorney – the person who brings child welfare cases against parents – agree: children suffer the consequences when parents have “paltry legal support.” When parents have […]Don’t Forget Legal Aid on Giving Tuesday
Did you know that Virginia Poverty Law Center was founded in 1978 as the Virginia State Legal Aid Society Support Center (VSLASSC)? The VSLASSC, or the “Big Pickle” as we were affectionally known, was created to help train and educate Virginia legal aid organizations on civil poverty law issues. For 44 years, VPLC has been […]VPLC’s Bar Stars Join Fight for Justice
Congratulations to VPLC’s newest attorneys, Anna Daniszewski and Flannery O’Rourke, who passed the Virginia State Bar exam. Daniszewski received her Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law and works in VPLC’s Center for Family Advocacy as a Family Defense Fellow. O’Rourke graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law and is […]Foster Care Update: Utilizing Kinship Care to Keep Families Together
Author: Anna Daniszewski/VPLC Legal Fellow Virginia Governor Youngkin’s Safe and Sound Task Force has focused on gaps and lack of options for high-needs children in the foster care system. Many of these children were forced to sleep in DSS offices or emergency rooms. The task force is an exemplar for how to bring people together […]Meet Anna Daniszewski, Family Defense Fellow
New to VPLC’s Center for Family Advocacy, Anna Daniszewski will help ensure that parents involved in Virginia’s child welfare system have zealous lawyers fighting for their families. Daniszewski’s fellowship includes legislative and policy advocacy, providing legal services to parents, and developing trainings, practice protocols, and accountability standards. “Too often, children and parents are needlessly separated […]Reducing the Trauma of Removal
Why Reunification and Sibling-Placements Are Crucial to the Well-Being of Children in the Child Welfare System By Courtney Squires, Summer Intern for the VPLC Center for Family Advocacy, University of Richmond School of Law To ensure the child welfare system works in the best interest of children, it is important to understand that removal and […]Virginia Must Do Better By Families
By Valerie L’Herrou Families are important to all of us, but especially to children. As British pediatrician and psychologist DW Winnicott put it, “There is no such thing as a baby. If you set out to describe a baby, you will find you are describing a baby and someone. A baby cannot exist alone, but […]PRESS RELEASE: Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center on Gubernatorial Vetoes of HB573 and SB297 (Medical Debt Reform)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2022 Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center state that Governor Youngkin’s vetoes of Del. Clark’s HB573 and Sen. Deeds’ SB297 have derailed critical, popular, and thoughtfully crafted bipartisan consumer debt reforms for thousands upon thousands of Virginians. Richmond, VA – Outstanding bills for medical treatment are one […]2022 Session Update: Week Two
This was a busy week at the General Assembly for VPLC advocates. We often must try and follow bills being heard in two or even three committees that meet at the same time! Please encourage your legislators to do the right thing and publicly praise them when they do. Below, an update on some of our issues […]2022 Session Update: New Leadership, Same Mission
The 2022 General Assembly is off and running, with 1,938 House and Senate bills filed — and more expected to come. Our advocates are dealing with a lot of change this year: a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, members in the House of Delegates, and committee chairs. But among the change, one thing remains […]Why Language Access is Essential for Domestic Violence Survivors
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this post comes from VPLC’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Attorney, Susheela Varky. Imagine you have to go to court — whether it’s to pursue your own case against someone who has wronged you or because you’ve received a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case. Most […]“Family First:” Prioritizing Kinship Foster Care
In honor of National Kinship Care Month, today’s newsletter comes from VPLC’s Family and Child Welfare Attorney, Valerie L’Herrou with University of Richmond School of Law student Megan Kaleah. Kinship care means the “full-time care, nurturing, and protection of children by relatives.” Relatives may care for children through informal arrangements with parents, through foster care, […]2021 Special Session Recap: How VPLC’s Budget Priorities Fared
When the General Assembly convened for a special 2021 session, we urged lawmakers to prioritize Virginians hit hardest by the pandemic with a budget focused on equity. Not all of our priorities were funded, but we will continue to push for these in the state’s next budget. Below, here’s how our recommended budget priorities fared […]Equitable Rescue & Recovery: VPLC Special Session Budget Priorities
The Virginia General Assembly will convene in Richmond on Monday, August 2 for a special legislative session to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding and fill judicial vacancies. The remaining $4.3 billion comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which has provided essential relief to millions of American workers – many of […]PRESS RELEASE: New anti-poverty laws take effect in Virginia today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2021 The suite of new laws will protect tenants, help families with food assistance, expand health coverage, protect consumers, and more. Richmond, VA – Effective today, several new laws in the Commonwealth will benefit hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. The new laws include better protections for tenants, expansion of […]