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Family Advocacy Program

The Syracuse Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is a Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (MLPC) between the University Pediatric and Adolescent Center (UPAC) of SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University College of Law. FAP seeks to engage the disciplines of law and medicine to provide comprehensive advocacy to improve the overall health of low-income children and their families. UPAC refers identified patients and families to FAP staff at the College of Law for direct legal services for children and their families.

FAP seeks to improve health outcomes for low-income children and their families through collaborative advocacy and legal intervention. Cases handled through FAP have included custody, adoption and child support; housing issues including landlord disputes, handicap access and utility disputes; education law including special education and unlawful exclusion from public schools; and other legal issues directly affecting child health.

The Family Advocacy Program's mission is to:

  • Improve health outcomes for low-income children and their families
  • Provide advocacy and legal intervention to prevent health crises for young children and their families caused by non-medical factors
  • Provide multidisciplinary training for law students and medical residents
  • Encourage multidisciplinary collaboration between the legal and medical professions
  • Foster a productive relationship between two educational institutions
  • Educate health care providers to identify children's health-related legal issues and become better advocates for their patients
  • Disseminate information about FAP's outcomes and community impact through publication and academic presentations
  • Cultivate a relationship between the law and medical schools and the greater Syracuse community