See Our Work

Current Initiatives

Advocating for improved monitoring of the administration of psychotropic medications to youth in foster care

During 2011 the Barton Center has been working collaboratively with Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system, and other child advocacy partners to develop strategies to improve the systemic oversight of the administration of psychotropic medications to youth in foster care.

First featured in a November AJC editorial by Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, “Tommy’s” story inspired the Barton Center’s efforts to improve this systemic problem.
Read "Tommy's" story >>

Read the Georgia Psychotropic Medication Monitoring Project report by Barton Child Law and Policy Center Executive Director Melissa Carter, published January 2012 in collaboration with Casey Family Programs and the Child Welfare Collaborative.

Media Coverage of Our Work on Psychotropic Medication Use


Leading a collaborative initiative to enact a comprehensive reform of the Georgia juvenile code

The Barton Center is one of the three lead partners of the JUST Georgia Coalition.  Created in 2006, JUST Georgia is a statewide juvenile justice coalition of community organizations and individuals advocating for change to Georgia’s juvenile code and the underlying social service systems to better serve Georgia’s children and promote safer communities.  The primary goal of JUST Georgia is to create a long term coalition that will advocate, monitor, and report on the conditions, laws, and policies that affect the justice and safety of Georgia's young people.

Seeking justice and protecting rights for youth involved with the juvenile court

“Rebecca,” a 17 year-old student with diagnosed disabilities was recently suspended from her high school for non-violent behavior that relates to her disability.

“Lawrence” was arrested for obstruction of a police officer and criminal trespass.  Lawrence is a 14 year-old special education student who reads at a third-grade level, and he has no past history of delinquency.

“Susan” was expelled for non-threatening and non-violent behavior that occurred on her thirteenth birthday. Permanently expelled, facing juvenile delinquency charges, and forced to leave a loving foster home…

“David” had been placed in over thirty foster and group homes by the age of thirteen.

“Robert,” a fifteen-year-old child who had only the fake worker documents identifying him as an adult, was taken to the county jail along with his adult brother.

Names have been changed to protect identity.