Lawyers Recognized for Childhood Mental Health Advocacy

At Center for Child Counseling, a large part of our responsibility is to help educate the community about issues affecting childhood mental health and to encourage a more trauma-informed approach to interacting with children and families in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida. To do this, we offer free trainings on a variety of topics and work with groups from countless sectors like education, child welfare, healthcare, corrections, and law enforcement.

One local group we’re particularly engaged with is the legal profession. Our dedicated board member, Eddie Stephens, is an equity partner at Ward Damon Attorneys at Law who has spearheaded the creation of Palm Beach County’s Family Law Mental Health Summit, which had its inaugural year in 2019.

This year, the summit has gone online and will be available on November 1 for $200 for 4.5 hours of CLE. You can learn more about the summit or read and subscribe to Eddie Stephens’ blog here.

Ahead of the availability of the summit, we are proud to announce the recipients of the following awards:

This year’s recipient of Center for Child Counseling’s “Judge Ron Alvarez Resiliency Award” is Dori Foster-Morales. The award is named in honor of the pioneering legal mind who worked for children’s rights long before we fully understood the impact of ACEs on society. The award recognizes those in the legal profession who are advocates for a fuller understanding of the science of adversity as it pertains to the law and who work to promote a more trauma-informed approach to legal practice. Ms. Foster-Morales is the current President of the Florida Bar and she has made it her mission to bring mental health and wellness awareness to the forefront of the 107,000 members of the Florida Bar. She truly embodies the spirit of retired circuit court Judge Ron Alvarez and we’re so proud to have her as a powerful ally in our fight against ACEs.

Laura Davis Smith has been selected as Center for Child Counseling’s 2020 Recipient of the “Jane Robinson Child Advocacy Award” named after Jane Robinson who founded Center for Child Counseling more than two decades ago and has dedicated her professional career to promoting the best interests of children and infant and childhood mental health. Ms. Davis Smith is a Board-Certified Family Attorney and past chair of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. She is a tireless advocate for children and we proudly acknowledge her efforts on their behalf in the courtroom and in our community.

You can watch both recipients participate in the keynote address “Mental Health and Wellness for Family Lawyers” at the Center for Child Counseling’s 2nd Annual Mental Health Summit which becomes available on demand online on November 1, 2020.

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