Medical-Legal Partnership

Improving Children’s Health Outcomes and Eliminating Barriers to Care

The Center’s Medical-Legal Partnership Project began in 2000 as Connecticut’s first medical-legal collaboration, and the second of its kind in the United States. The MLPP is a national leader, providing interdisciplinary legal intervention and working with partners to address healthcare disparities for children at risk.

We partner with pediatric providers in low income communities to improve access to care and reduce social and environmental factors – such as substandard housing, inadequate income, disability rights, access to education and health care – that adversely affect children’s health.

Our community-based locations allow families to easily access medical-legal services. We are on site at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Burgdorf/Bank of America Health Center, and Charter Oak Health Center. 


Six Basic Questions to Help Medical Providers Assess Family Situation

  1. Do you have enough food?
  2. Are your housing conditions safe?
  3. Is there enough money to pay for basic necessities?
  4. Do you have problems getting your health insurance to pay for services and medications?
  5. Is your child receiving an appropriate education?
  6. Do you have a disabled child who needs support at home, in school, or in the community?


Who is Eligible?

MLPP attorneys provide legal advocacy for low-income families. There is no charge for services. Referrals are received from pediatric and family medicine providers and at MLPP clinics on site at walk-in community healthcare clinics. We represent clients in matters including:

Working with Medical Providers Changes the Culture of Care

The MLPP trains, supports and collaborates with healthcare and mental health providers to address the complexities of poverty-related health issues:


Sasha wanted to play with her friends

In 2014, a family from northwest Connecticut contacted FAVOR, a family support organization for children who have medical, mental, or behavioral health challenges. The family was hoping to persuade the school system to make playground accommodations for their daughter, who is disabled.  

FAVOR called the Center for Children’s Advocacy for help.

Sasha has multiple disabilities, and, like other special needs children, has a right under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) to access the school’s playground. Sasha’s mother raised her concern with the town and the school, but was unable to get their attention. CCA attorney Bonnie Roswig understood that this was not only about Sasha being able to play with her friends, but a larger issue for all children with disabilities. She filed an ADA complaint with the federal government and won.  

This landmark decision affects schools’ ADA compliance nationwide.

Meet Sasha and her mom on their youtube video.


Changing the System

Healthcare partners collaborate with our MLPP attorneys to identify systemic issues that will lead to improved healthcare outcomes for the most vulnerable children. Priority areas include:


HUD Complaint Settlement

Center for Children’s Advocacy filed a Complaint with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Civil Rights in 2016 based on the refusal of a Wethersfield condo association to allow a special education school bus on to their property to transport a child with autism and diabetes. The HUD settlement agreement ensured that, among other remedies:

the child’s school bus be allowed on the property
the condo staff be trained as to their obligations under the Fair Housing Act
all tenants be informed in writing of the condo associations obligations
signs be posted on the condo grounds 

For more information about this Settlement, please contact Bonnie Roswig at (860) 545-8581.


MLPP Publications, Presentations and Articles »


Project Director 
Jay E. Sicklick
860-570-5327    Fax: 860-570-5256

Senior Staff Attorney 
Bonnie Roswig
860-545-8581    Fax: 860-545-9234

Staff Attorney
Alice Rosenthal

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center 860-545-8581
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center 860-714-1412
Yale-New Haven Hospital 203-688-0113

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