Dauphin County Lawyer Named ‘Child Advocate of the Year’ by Pennsylvania Bar Association Children’s Rights Committee

ADR Award Winner

HARRISBURG (March 21, 2017) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Children’s Rights Committee has named Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth solicitor Marisa K. McClellan of Camp Hill as its Child Advocate of the Year.

McClellan will receive the award at a luncheon ceremony during the committee’s spring training program, “Current Issues for Child Advocates 2017,” taking place March 31 at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute in Mechanicsburg. 

The award recognizes the accomplishments of lawyers and judges who are advocates for children within the commonwealth or who are involved with child advocacy.

Since 2010, McClellan has served as the chief agency attorney for Dauphin County Children and Youth, with a practice focused in the areas of child abuse and neglect, juvenile law, custodial rights, family law, human services law, Pennsylvania code and rules of the court, and legislation including the Mental Health Procedures Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, HIPAA. Prior to public service, she served as a court-appointed guardian ad litem representing children in the termination of private parental rights proceedings.

An advocate for the safety, permanency and well-being of children, McClellan played an instrumental role in developing and educating legal and child welfare professionals about the new Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). As a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Implementation Workgroup, she and her team compared language of the old law with that of the new law to highlight any changes and were among the first to create and organize trainings about the new law. In addition, McClellan developed a protocol to ensure due process for all families subject to safety plans in abuse cases and was among the first in the commonwealth to implement the new system.

McClellan is affiliated with numerous children and youth organizations, including the Pennsylvania Children and Youth Solicitors’ Association where she currently serves as its chairwoman, the Pennsylvania Statewide and Dauphin County Children’s Roundtable committees, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Implementation Workgroup and the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Council.

In addition, McClellan is a member of the American Bar Association, the PBA Children’s Rights and Government Lawyers committees and the Dauphin County Bar Association.

For McClellan’s exemplary legal efforts, she was selected as a Pennsylvania Conference on Child Abuse Advocate in 2012 and as a Miller Center Public Interest Advocate in 2002.

McClellan received degrees from The Pennsylvania State University and its Dickinson School of Law.

In addition to the presentation of the award to McClellan, the full-day training program will include a complete summary of significant case law and legislative developments, exposure to up and coming trends and effective strategies for best representing juvenile clients to lawyers whose cases include juvenile delinquency and dependency matters. To learn more about the PBI’s offerings and this session, visit its website at www.pbi.org or http://catalog.pbi.org/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=80480 for specific program information.