Legal Services for At-Risk Families

Legal Services for At-Risk Families 

A program of the Family and Youth Advocacy Center at the Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School.

Many families become involved in the child welfare system due to preventable situations. Oftentimes families can remain safely together if they can access resources to meet their needs.  Civil legal assistance is a much needed resource that is out of reach for many low income families.  

Thanks to the generous support of the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, the Family and Youth Advocacy Center is now able to provide free legal representation, counseling, information, referrals and resources to eligible parents and families at risk of child abuse and neglect. 

This is a pilot project and currently is available to eligible families living in the following Ohio counties:  Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow and Pickaway.  We hope to expand the project to other counties in the future.


  • For this program, a family is defined as one or more parents/guardians and one or more children
  • Family must live in one of the nine pilot counties
  • Family must have risk factors for child abuse or neglect
  • Family must have appropriate needs
  • Parents/guardians CANNOT have a prior substantiated child abuse, neglect or dependency allegation
  • Family CANNOT have a currently open traditional response track case of abuse, neglect or dependency with a Public Children Service Agency
  • Family may have a currently open alternative response track case with a Public Children Service Agency
  • Family does NOT need to be involved with a Public Children Service Agency to be eligible


Services Offered

  • Obtaining personal documents (birth certificate, Social Security card, driver’s license, state ID, car insurance)
  • Juvenile delinquency and/or adult criminal record sealing and expungement
  • Creating legal documents like wills, living wills, powers of attorney, Grandparent Powers of Attorney, and Caretaker Authorization Affidavits
  • Discussion of custody options (NOT legal representation on this issue)
  • Understanding and/or negotiating contracts, including lease agreements
  • Landlord tenant legal issues, including evictions
  • Applying for and accessing public benefits, including subsidized housing
  • Credit problems, including fraud and identity theft
  • Referral and resource information on topics such as domestic violence, Victims of Crime compensation, employment, parenting classes and other legal issues.


Referral and Intake Process

  • Referrals can be made by PCSAs, other agencies, or parents/guardians can self-refer
    • PCSAs and other agencies, please contact us at 614.236.6768 for a referral form.
    • Parents/guardians can self-refer by calling 614.236.6768. Please leave a voicemail message if prompted. 
  • Once a referral is made, a staff member will check that the family is initially eligible (i.e. meets the criteria described above).  We make every effort to notify the referral source and/or family within 2 business days if the family meets initial eligibility criteria.
  • Families that are initially eligible will then be scheduled for an intake appointment.  Intake appointments will last 1-2 hours, depending on the needs of the family.   Intake appointments may be scheduled in the family’s home county if needed.
  • Our staff meets once per week to decide which cases we can and cannot accept based upon the information given during the intake appointment.  The referral source and family will be contacted regarding the clinic's decision shortly after the case acceptance meeting.  Depending on case volume, families may be deferred for a period of time until we are able to accept their cases.



Contact us at 614.236.6768.

Ohio Children's Trust Fund
The Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School
OFamily and Youth Advocacy Center