Posted on December 20, 2023
Categories: Focus on FACE

In 1978, the Philadelphia Bar Association founded a volunteer-driven program, known at the time as the Senior Citizen Judicare project, with the hopes of protecting the legal rights and interests of older Philadelphians. Forty-five years and a name change later, SeniorLAW Center, an independent nonprofit organization, offers a variety of legal services and programs to protect one of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable groups. With a team of dedicated lawyers and advocates, SeniorLAW Center works to “seek justice for older people by using the power of the law, educating the community, and advocating on local, state, and national levels,” as their mission statement reads. SeniorLAW Center serves over 10,000 Pennsylvanians annually providing legal services in the areas of housing, elder abuse, family and kinship care, life planning, and much more.

SeniorLAW Center Supervising Attorney, Heather Kelly, leads the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren project. She shared her motivation for joining this organization. “We need to make sure we support those who are trying to keep families together… and kinship care is a wonderful solution when parents are not able to care for their children.” expressed Heather.  Since 2021, Heather has been actively involved in serving grandfamilies in the areas of custody, dependency and child support.  In addition to providing legal services, SeniorLAW Center also partners community leaders and organizations to ensure comprehensive support and awareness of resources and services available to kinship families. Utilizing grassroots outreach, resource tables to brief elevator pitches to extensive workshops and professional trainings, the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren project actively engages with the community to educate them on the needs and rights of Grandfamilies . One of their popular workshops, “Know Your Rights”, equips grandfamilies with legal information on their rights as kinship caregivers, and addresses how they can protect their rights as kinship caregivers. Heather admired the work being done by SeniorLAW Center, stating, “we are really happy to do what we can to get out into the community.”

Want to hear more about SeniorLAW Center? Stop by our January 20th and February 17th Family Saturday events to speak with representatives from SeniorLAW Center and learn more about grandfamilies and the resources SeniorLAW Center provides. Visit their website at www.seniorlawcenter.org or call 215-988-1244 for more information. Thank you to Heather Kelly for taking the time to speak with us at Focus on FACE.