Child Advocacy

Child advocacy center and program offer court-appointed counsel

Northern Nevada Legal Aid’s child advocacy program provides legal representation for children in dependency and related proceedings in Northern Nevada. By law, Nevada’s courts must appoint counsel for children removed from their parents’ custody and control by Child Protective Services (CPS) due to alleged abuse or neglect.

Our licensed and qualified attorneys provide legal representation and advocate for a child’s interests and desires before the courts. With training and experience, our attorneys are the most knowledgeable participants in any courtroom regarding child welfare law.


Child advocacy center program offers
court-appointed counsel

No children should ever be disadvantaged in dependency proceedings. With our attorneys at their side, children are assured of high-quality, professional legal representation at no cost to them or their families.

Who does our child advocacy center help?

Our Child Advocacy program provides legal services exclusively to children in Northern Nevada. Currently, we offer services in Washoe, Humboldt, Lyon, Carson City, Storey, and Lander Counties. Our attorneys provide these services only by court appointment.

We serve children who are parties to:

  • Dependency cases
  • Minor guardianship proceedings
  • Adoption proceedings for children in foster care or aging out of the foster care system


We serve children up to age 18 and, occasionally, up to age 21 if a child elects to submit to the court’s continuing jurisdiction upon turning 18. Whether a child is a newborn, a teenager, or any age in between, their attorney’s role is to advocate for their interests. No matter the child’s age, they are the clients—not their parents or Child Protective Services.

We do not represent adults involved in any of the proceedings listed above. If you need resources for self- or pro bono representation as an adult, visit our self-help, program, and legal resources pages for more information.

If you would like to learn more about our child advocacy program and the services we provide as court-appointed counsel, email or call us at 775-329-2727.

Commonly asked questions about our child advocacy center and program

Nothing. Legal services are provided pro bono, i.e., at no cost to the child or their family.

No. We provide legal services only when appointed by a court.

No. We only represent children involved in dependency cases.

No. We only represent children in guardianship proceedings for minors.

No. Counsel is appointed by a court once there is an active dependency case and a child is removed from her home.

No. Our attorneys do not provide representation in family law or child custody matters.

Yes. A child can be a client in much the same way as an adult. Under Nevada law, a child who has allegedly been abused or neglected is a party to dependency proceedings in his own right and must have counsel appointed by the court.

No. A guardian ad litem is separately appointed to represent and protect the best interests of a child in a dependency matter and must not be the same attorney appointed to represent the child as counsel by the court.

No. We only represent children in minor guardianship proceedings. Learn more about adult guardianship proceedings and pro bono services provided by Northern Nevada Legal Aid by visiting our Adult Guardianship Program page.

No. Northern Nevada Legal Aid is an independent, non-profit organization. Neither Northern Nevada Legal Aid nor its Child Advocacy Program are affiliated with CPS or government agencies.

Yes. We receive funding from grants, some of which may be provided by state and local governments and generous private and corporate donors whose support allows us to provide legal services and equal access to justice for everyone.

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