Advancing the rights and opportunities of persons with mental disabilities through quality legal advocacy and education in Massachusetts
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About Clubhouse Project

The Clubhouse Family Legal Support Project (CFLSP) provides legal representation and assistance to low income parents diagnosed with a mental illness who are seeking to access or regain custody of their children. The CFLSP is a partnership between MHLAC and the metro-west clubhouse, Employment Options, Inc.  The Project is supported and funded by the Department of Mental Health (DMH), and the Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF).

CFLSP is committed to serving parents diagnosed with mental illness because they are at high risk of losing custody of and/or all contact with their children in the family courts, particularly if without legal representation.

What We Do

The CFLSP provides effective legal representation and assistance in the following ways:

Legal Consultation for Parents and Attorneys
CFLSP attorneys meet with parents at their local Clubhouse (Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition - MCC) to provide parents (who may also be club members) with legal information, advice, guidance and referrals in family law and child welfare matters. CFLSP attorneys also are available to consult with other attorneys on mental health issues and service coordination for parents recovering from mental illness.

Legal Representation
CFLSP attorneys represent parents in Probate and Family Court proceedings involving custody and visitation disputes, such as: divorce or post-divorce modification cases where child custody and/or visitation is at issue, custody/visitation cases between unmarried parents, guardianship of a minor cases, and in some limited Department of Children and Families (DCF) involved matters.

Training and Education
CFLSP attorneys provide training in the area of family law as it pertains to parents with mental illness, for Clubhouse members and staff, as well as service providers, clinicians, other attorneys, and judges in both the Commonwealth and other states.

Outreach
CFLSP attorneys maintain contact with a variety of Massachusetts clubhouses (MCC) and hold presentation and intake days for staff and members to learn more about the services offered, and for interested members to obtain assistance from the Project.

 

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