Impact: Lesley Mendoza
Every month, Florida Foster Care Review’s Citizen Review Panel members extend commendations to those who do exceptional work on behalf of children and families involved with dependency court. In July 2017, we were very pleased to recognize attorney Lesley Mendoza as the Child Welfare Professional of the Month. An immigration attorney and pro bono Attorney ad Litem (AAL), Ms. Mendoza appeared before the panel representing a young adult in Extended Foster Care.
During the review hearing, Ms. Mendoza informed the panel member about her client’s immigration status and needs and also described the process for obtaining a work visa and residency for other minors who are undocumented. Ms. Mendoza thoroughly explained the legal obstacles that young adults like her client face when coming from a foreign country without any support. She was a strong and effective advocate for her client, communicating clear information about his short and long-term interests and needs. Despite the many obstacles and challenges in her client’s path, Ms. Mendoza showed an unwavering, genuine belief in his potential and made sure that the panel and other parties to the case were aware of the tools he required to succeed.
Without a doubt, Ms. Mendoza demonstrated the highest qualities of a child welfare professional – great presentation skills, thorough documentation, knowledge of her client’s needs, and putting forth the maximum effort to ensure quality services and meaningful support is provided. Congratulations to Lesley and thank you for serving youth in our community!
“Thank you for all the wonderful work that you do for children in the foster care system. The Citizenship Review Panel is such a wonderful forum and provides tremendous value to the children.” —Lesley Mendoza
For more information on our Citizen Review Panel visit here.