Society & Culture

Emory law professor to speak at UGA about child welfare in Georgia

Melissa Carter

Athens, Ga. – Melissa Carter, a member of Emory University’s law faculty and executive director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center, will present a lecture March 26 at 11 a.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel.

Open free to the public, the lecture will review the history and impact of recent reform efforts on Georgia’s child welfare system and will discuss proposed strategies for future improvement.

The lecture is part of a UGA-led effort called Embark, which is a campus-based support system for students who were in foster care or were homeless. It is also part of a statewide effort to connect other campuses across Georgia that are doing similar work.

“Melissa will share insights about current trends in child welfare in Georgia and how those trends impact children and families,” said David Meyers, a faculty member at the Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. “We are very excited to have one of Georgia’s foremost authorities on this topic come to UGA as part of the Embark efforts to develop awareness in our community.”

Carter is a child advocate with deep knowledge of foster care and director of the Barton Center-an interdisciplinary child law program founded to promote and protect the well-being of court-involved children in the state of Georgia and develop dedicated and knowledgeable juvenile law professionals. In 2012, she was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as a member of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. She also serves as an adviser to the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children and as an ex-officio member of the board of directors of VOICES for Georgia’s Children.

Prior to joining the law faculty at Emory, Carter served as the appointed child advocate, leading the staff of the Office of the Child Advocate in the fulfillment of the executive agency’s statutory mandates to provide independent oversight of the child welfare system and coordination of activities related to child injury and fatality review and prevention.

Lecture sponsors include the Fanning Institute, the School of Social Work and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences has designated this lecture as a Blue Card event.

The Fanning Institute is a public service and outreach unit at the University of Georgia. Dedicated to building a better Georgia, Fanning strengthens communities and organizations through leadership development, training and education. For more information, see