Promoting Positive Outcomes for Kids

One of American Savings Foundation’s first grants in 1996 went to a small, grass-roots organization, the Children’s Law Center of Connecticut (CLC).

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About Children’s Law Center of Connecticut

As a young organization, CLC didn’t have a lot of other funding sources, but it did have a mission to help children who don’t have anyone else standing up for their best interests in the court system.

That first grant of $3,000 helped launch CLC’s Children’s Law Line, a free help line that answers questions and provides information and referrals with regards to legal issues affecting children. In the years since, the Foundation has supported their Legal Representation Program, protecting the interests of children involved in high-conflict family court cases.

Most recently, the Foundation has provided funding for CLC’s Families-in-Transition (FIT) program, a mediation model that helps families work together in the best interest of their children, and avoid the adversarial nature of a courtroom.

Over the years, American Savings Foundation’s support for the programs has given the agency the ability to expand and sustain their services in both New Britain and Waterbury. In 2019, the agency served 1,955 children – 588 through the Legal Representation program, 34 through Families in Transition, and 1,355 through 863 calls to the Children’s Law Line.

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Artila Lubonja, Robert T. Kenney Scholar 2006

Former Staff Attorney Artila Lubonja has a long history with the American Savings Foundation. In 2006, as a sophomore in college, Artila applied for and received a Robert T. Kenney Scholarship from the Foundation.

Through the scholarship, Artila had an opportunity to hold a paid summer internship conducting follow-up surveys for the Children’s Law Line. As part of the internship, she was able to shadow CLC’s attorneys in the courtroom, and learn first-hand how their work impacts the lives of children and families.

“The benefit to a child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents cannot be overlooked. CLC works tirelessly to ensure the parents are healthy, responsible, and caring individuals to protect a child’s physical safety and emotional security. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than making a difference in the life of a child.” – Artila Lubonja

The experience fueled Artila’s enthusiasm to one day work with and protect children through the court system. After completing Law School, Artila returned to CLC, where she was a staff attorney for seven years. She is now a Family Law Attorney continuing to serve the community of Waterbury at Sullivan, Attanasio & Miller. Artila also serves on the American Savings Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee.

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Since 1996, American Savings Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million to agencies such as the Children’s Law Center that provide legal resources for children and families.