Chatham County

Child Advocate Office

Our Mission

To advance the goals of permanency, stability and substantial justice for children involved in child welfare cases utilizing trained, competent attorneys supported by a multidisciplinary team.

Our Community Partners

Clients to Date

Hard Workers

Our Vision

The Chatham County Child Advocate Office is a fully functioning children’s law office established as a joint project between Chatham County, Chatham County Juvenile Court and the state Office of Child Advocate. The project establishes a multi-disciplinary office of attorneys to represent children in Dependency cases. The Office assigns one attorney per judge, with caseload limitations, supported by a legal secretary, unit specialist and social worker. The Office utilizes specific legal strategies that have been proven to expedite permanency in dependency cases.

About Our Team

16,000 children

will experience foster care this year in Georgia. On any given day, there are more than 300 children in foster care in Chatham County

Help Stop Child Trafficking

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia (CACGA) CSEC Response Team began operating a new 24/7 trafficking hotline number: 1-866-END-HTGA.

News and Resources

Connections Matter

From the GA OCA April 2020 Newletter : The Connections Matter Georgia® statewide initiative is focused on raising awareness and providing a community-based prevention response


America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia

Hunger is a real issue in our nation, our state and in Coastal Georgia. There are more than 40 million people in the United States that struggle with food insecurity, 1.5 million in the state of Georgia and 175,540 right here in Coastal Georgia.

Established in 1981 in Savannah Georgia, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia is a locally inspired, volunteer-driven nonprofit food bank and community partnering organization. Second Harvest serves as the food safety net for tens of thousands of children, senior citizens, low-income families, and people with disabilities who are at risk for hunger throughout Coastal Georgia.

The organization works diligently to feed the hungry by distributing nutritious food to non-profit agencies and at-risk elderly and youth. Their programs include Brown Bag for the Elderly, Grace’s Kitchen, Kids Cafe, Mobile Food Pantry, and Partner Distribution. These programs are designed to provide hunger relief to those most vulnerable. Second Harvest partners with 298 faith-based and non-profit agencies to provide emergency food assistance across Coastal Georgia.

Last year, Second Harvest food bank provided more than 19.8 million meals (more than 25.5 million pounds of food) to hungry people in our area. Support from the community and collaboration with partners make it possible for us to reach many in need right here in our own community.

America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia urges you to join the fight against local hunger. Hunger Hurts. You can help.

https://www.helpendhunger.org/

Training and Education

CCCAO makes every attempt to keep the information on this calendar up to date and accurate, however, events and details provided below are subject to change including cancellation and postponement. Information provided during registration assists with coordinating logistical requirements and provides contact information in order to notify registrants of any changes to the event.   Many of these classes or session are provided by outside intities.

Cultural Competency (Presented by Deborah Burrus, State Adoption Director for the State of Georgia)

WHEN: 07/15/2022 -- 12:00 Noon

WHERE: Chatham County Juvenile Court (197 Carl Griffin Drive, Savannah, GA 31405)

Insight on the disparities of black children in foster care & how outcomes can be changed to better serve the underserved & over surveilled.


Register For This Event At: Cultural Competency (Presented by Deborah Burrus, State Adoption Director for the State of Georgia)

Recovery Place Programs

WHEN: 07/08/2022 -- 2:00 PM

WHERE: Chatham County Juvenile Court, 197 Carl Griffin Drive, Savannah, GA 31405

For over three decades, Recovery Place has been providing Savannah, Georgia area residents with the treatemnt they need to overcome their substance and behavioral health disorders. Their commitment to helping their clients change their lives and gain the confidence they need to succeed through a strengths based approach led by a fully licensed and compassionate staff. 

 

 


Register For This Event At: Recovery Place Programs

The Community Resiliency Model (CRM)® presented by Vira Salzburn

WHEN: 06/17/2022 -- 12 PM

WHERE: Chatham Count Juvenile Court (197 Carl Griffin Drive Sav, GA 31405)

CRM workshops introduce participants to six wellness skills. CRM Workshops help create “trauma-informed” and “resiliency-informed” individuals and communities that share a common understanding of the impact of trauma and chronic stress on the nervous system and how resiliency can be restored or increased using this skills-based approach.

 


Register For This Event At: The Community Resiliency Model (CRM)® presented by Vira Salzburn

Frequently Asked Questions

Team

Our multi-disciplinary team includes three attorneys, as well as our legal secretary, unit specialist and social worker.

Kathleen Davis, JD, CWLS

Chief Assistant and Child Advocate Attorney

Our team is led by attorney Kathleen Davis. Mrs. Davis is Certified as a Child Welfare Law Specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children. She has spent more than 7 years working in Child Welfare, and more than 20 years practicing law. She is a 2001 graduate of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis.

Wendellyn S. Wright, JD, MA, NCC

Child Advocate Attorney

Wendellyn Wright has over 20 years of experience working in defense litigation and prosecution for both the military and civilian sectors. She is a Major in the United States Army Reserve in the Judge Advocate Corps. Mrs. Wright holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health, in addition to her Juris Doctor.

B. Michelle LaFontaine, JD, LMSW

Child Advocate Attorney

Michelle LaFontaine is a 2021 graduate of Mercer School of Law. Prior to entering law school, Ms. LaFontaine worked as a licensed social worker in varied communities throughout the southeast. Her work supported trafficking victims, foster families and more. Ms. LaFontaine holds her MSW from University of Georgia (2012).

Contact

Please do not use this for emergency or time critical communications.



Our Address

197 Carl Griffin Dr. Office 246
Savannah, GA 31405

Call Us

tel: (912) 652-3030
fax: (912) 652-6927


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