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Bar News - March 21, 2008

Bar Foundation News: Predicting the Future


Maria White, Interim Executive Director of NH Children’s Alliance, presents NH Bar Foundation Executive Director, David Snyder, with a plaque that reads: "Thank you for making children a Priority – New Hampshire Bar Foundation – Stanley M. and Thalia M. Brown Fund and Judge Richard E. Cooper Fund" in recognition of the endowed funds that enabled the NH Bar Foundation to make Justice Grants in support of the Children’s Alliance.
Every year, grant-making foundations, including the NH Bar Foundation, ask grant applicants to predict the future. Grantees state the goals, devise a plan, forecast the outcome, and after receiving the grant, put the plan in motion. If the planning is well done, if all the players cooperate, if everyone does what they are expected to do, and if people and other environmental factors react as it is hoped or expected, then perhaps the anticipated outcome will be achieved.

To measure the impact of funding, foundations typically require a final report that provides evidence of the outcome of a grantee’s prediction. Future funding often depends on this most susceptible evolution of prediction and outcome. The Bar Foundation is particularly pleased to congratulate the 2007 Justice Grant recipients on their talent, skill and perseverance in achieving what they set out to do last year.

· The Children’s Alliance worked collaboratively with other organizations to get Bill 176 passed to prevent life-threatening childhood lead poisoning in New Hampshire. CANH made quality childcare a budget priority backed by research that shows "quality childcare provides the foundation for future learning…and many working families in NH cannot afford quality childcare and still make ends meet." Parents should not have to leave their children in a substandard facility or under the supervision of poorly trained caregivers so they can go to work. Governor Lynch’s budget proposal included funding to increase the childcare co-payment for families receiving state assistance.

· The Institute on Disability/UNH NH Leadership Series program provided training for 35 individuals with disabilities in "best practices in the disability field, leadership, and advocacy." The IOD educated 15 state legislators about policy and legislation critical to individuals with disabilities, their families, and service providers. In recognition of the value of the program, the legislature voted a permanent line item in the annual state budget in support of the Leadership Series – a bill championed by several Series graduates who now hold seats in the state legislature.

· NH Legal Assistance expanded its NH Health Law Collaborative to the North Country by offering three trainings in collaboration with Child Health Services and the North Country Health Consortium. The goal was to explain the benefits of the medical-legal collaborative, teach medical and social work staff about key substantive areas of the law, and help caregivers spot legal issues that impact health and then make appropriate referrals to NHLA. Among the 37 attendees, six were physicians, 16 were nurses, and 15 were social workers and other health care staff.

• The Emergency Assistance Fund (EAP) was created at NHLA with the first annual distribution from the Consumer Law Reform Fund. NHLA uses this fund while they are working with clients to prevent foreclosures and evictions that can be avoided with one or two past-due payments. Thirteen families likely to become homeless remain in their homes and funds are still available to assist other families at risk.

Successful outcomes were also achieved by the other 2007 Justice Grant recipients, including the PIC Fellow from Franklin Pierce Law Center who worked for the NH Public Defenders Office, the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence created a brochure about mediation for victims, NH Lawyer’s Assistance Program was able to hire its first executive director, Voices Against Violence legal advocate helped 111 victims seek justice through the courts, and A New Hampshire Handbook, Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else, was created and is freely available statewide at hospitals, clinics, and online.

The NH Bar Foundation recently awarded twelve Justice Grants for 2008, totaling $35,771, exceeding last year’s total by nearly $10,000. It’s truly amazing what can be done with a few thousand dollars and the dedicated, intelligent individuals who collaborate to make New Hampshire one of the best places to live. We predict they will continue to be successful.


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