What is the history of the Dauphin County Bar Association creating this Foundation?
The DCBF was created in June of 1945 with a broad purpose and mission to serve those in need by providing funding to many worthy causes. In the past 10 years, the DCBF has focused on causes that have promoted access to justice, particularly to those struggling with poverty and family issues. Gifts to the Foundation can be made on a yearly basis with DCBA dues statements, periodic gifts or estate bequests.
What is the “We Care About Children” Campaign?
The DCBF has funded a full-time Family Law Attorney at MidPenn Legal Services since December of 2010. More than $350,000 has been raised and the Foundation is committed to ensuring the continuation of this very worthwhile program that directly assists families in our Dauphin County community.
Explain the relationship with MidPenn Legal Services.
MidPenn is our partner in this effort, providing attorney supervision and all office overhead costs and administrative fees. MidPenn is a non-profit, public-interest law firm that provides bread and butter civil legal services to low-income residents and survivors of domestic violence. Approximately 40% of its caseload consists of family law matters.
What are the details surrounding the Family Law Attorney's position?
The Family Law Attorney is a full-time MidPenn Legal Services staff attorney, who specializes in these matters. MidPenn provides legal supervision and all office overhead costs. Every dollar raised goes directly to service – no administrative fees.
How was the goal set?
The salary for the first year is $49,673 and over five years increases to $55,907. The goal of $408,500 covers salary and benefits for five years.
Why are you asking for more donations?
The 5-year campaign is in it’s final months, so we are raising funds to keep the Family Law Attorney position in our local MidPenn Legal Services office.
Where does my donation go?
100% of your gifts go directly to the salary/benefit package for this position.
Why family law?
Family Law accounts for 73% of the total of pro bono cases and with the severe shortfall in IOLTA funding to MidPenn over the last four years, assisting families has become more difficult. Continuing to fund this position will remind the community of the good work that our lawyers do and provide stability to families in Dauphin County.
What types of cases are handled?
Emergency custody cases are the great majority of the caseload.
Why is there such a big demand?
Financial woes are particularly acute in low-income families. Custody disputes lead to domestic violence and child snatches and other abuses. Some 90% of the cases settle at the custody conference level.
Who is eligible for service?
All legal aid clients are below 125% of the poverty level. In Dauphin County there are over 50,000 who qualify for free legal aid.
Why support this effort?
This is the Dauphin County Bar Foundation’s flagship effort to ensure that families have somewhere to turn, to help provide children a safe home and to ultimately meet this fundamental community need. Early intervention saves precious community resources.
Who are some previous donors?
The Dauphin County Bar Foundation, the Dauphin County Commissioners/Gaming Commission and First National Bank have been the lead donors joined by numerous law firms, individual lawyers, local foundations and business leaders like.Capital Blue Cross, Citizens Bank, McNees, Wallace & Nurick LLC, Franklin H. and Ruth L. Wells Foundation and Rhoads & Sinon LLP.