Meet Anna Daniszewski, Family Defense Fellow

Monday, September 26th, 2022

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 – sometimes permanently – for reasons based in poverty: lack of housing, inadequate healthcare, and inaccessible childcare. Empirical research shows that when parents are provided high-quality attorneys, it transforms outcomes for the whole family. Children spend less time in foster care, needless separations and trauma are avoided, and families obtain the services to which they are entitled,” said Daniszewski. “Our goal is for Virginia to join the movement of states adopting the multi-disciplinary family defense office model for court-appointed counsel. This model ensures that parents have a team of defense lawyers, social workers, and referrals to legal and social services addressing families’ housing, food, and health needs, which get at the root causes for state involvement.”

Daniszewski is a graduate of New York University School of Law. During law school, she represented parents in NYU’s Family Defense Clinic, working with Brooklyn Defender Services. Anna was also a legal intern in the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem’s family defense practice and the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU.  Prior to law school, Anna earned a Master’s degree in Gender Studies at Central European University in Hungary and was a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow at the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan. She is a graduate of Bard College.




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