Pro Bono Law Ontario at SickKids
Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO) at SickKids is a free legal service located at SickKids for patients and families referred by clinical staff. It combines the efforts of clinicians and lawyers in the pursuit of better child health outcomes.
The project, originally called the Family Legal Health Program, helps low and moderate income patients and families deal with legal challenges that impact the patient's health and/or the family's capacity to care for their sick child. For example, we can help in the following cases: parents losing employment because they are caring for a sick child, health related housing issues, special education, benefits related to child's health, domestic abuse, immigration, etc.
Please note: PBLO at SickKids does not deal with complaints about SickKids or staff of SickKids.
A triage lawyer, Lee Ann Chapman, is located on-site and meets with families in her office or at the child's bedside. Her primary roles include:
- Training hospital clinicians: Available for rounds to help clinicians identify legal issues that impact patient health or a family's capacity to manage their child's care.
- Consultations with clinicians and families: The consultation may result in (1) information or advice passed to the clinician, (2) a brief service and/or advice provided directly to the parent/patient as a client, (3) referral of the case to a pro bono lawyer: two law firms – Torkin Manes LLP and McMillan LLP (as well as other private lawyers) – provide pro bono representation to clients referred by the triage lawyer.
- Involvement in systemic issues: More broad-based advocacy concerning laws and policies that frequently impact the children and families.