April 23, 2010
ATLANTA—The Kresge Foundation recently awarded a $230,000 two-year grant to support the work of the HeLP Legal Services Clinic at Georgia State University College of Law. The Kresge Foundation is a $2.8 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life of many in the population through supporting non-profit organization in six fields of interest: health, the environment, community development, arts and culture, education and human services.
The HeLP Clinic provides an invaluable service to low income families with children receiving care at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. When these families need the intervention of a legal professional in order to improve the physical, social and economic environments in which many low-income children live and thus improve their health and overall quality of life the clinic can provide these services. The clinic provides legal support for these families and a valuable opportunity to develop lawyering skills for the students participating in the clinic.
Sylvia Caley (pictured), co-associate director of the HeLP Clinic and an assistant clinical professor at the law school, teamed up with Joe Piffaretti, Georgia State University's senior director of corporate and foundation relations, to identify and draft the proposal for the grant. The Kresge Foundation highlights a medical-legal partnership focusing on low-income and under-served populations within their Health Program, which sparked Piffaretti's interest in the grant as a potential support for the HeLP Legal Services Clinic in the Center for Law, Health Society as he felt that the clinic’s mission coincided well with the Kresge Foundation’s interest and requirements.
The grant will be used primarily to support the work of a supervising attorney, which will enable the clinic to provide clinical education to more students and to serve more at-risk children.
"For the HeLP Legal Services Clinic, the grant will allow us to increase significantly the number of students who may enroll in the clinic each semester," Caley explained. "The clinic provides an opportunity for law students to develop lawyering skills and a sense of professional identity while providing much needed legal assistance to sick children experiencing legal problems that may be affecting their health and well-being. We will be able to assist more children experiencing legal problems. We also will be able to expand our educational program to health professionals working at Children's at Hughes Spalding."
Both Caley and Piffaretti worked closely in developing the most cohesive proposal that adhered to the Kresge Foundation's strict guidelines and contained all of the necessary information. Working closely with the Kresge Foundation and their program's officer through many alterations ensured the proposal was a strong as possible.
The grant required contacting and gaining the interest of those involved at the Kresge Foundation. A five-page letter of inquiry and budget proposal lead to an invitation for a more detailed proposal including contained information covering many categories, including the problem being addressed, how the project addresses the objectives of Kresge's Health Program and other specific questions, along with a detailed time-line and budget outline.
Piffaretti credits the thoroughness in providing clear and tangible objectives, coupled with clearly defined measurable outcomes and a detailed evaluation plan as critical to the success of the proposal. Annual reports will articulate the progress that the program makes over the next two years and the impact that the support from the Kresge foundation has in relations to the goals outlined in the proposal.
"We are thrilled to be able to expand the Clinic experience to more students and to provide more services to children seeking care at Children's at Hughes Spalding," Caley said.
By Cindi Yarbrough, Georgia State Law student