Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2003


This Article analyzes the gap between children's statutory rights and their actual access to services within the educational, medical and juvenile justice systems. This Article lays out the strong statutory rights and protections in the areas of special education and contrasts them with actual experience in trying to secure appropriate education, Medicaid and the juvenile justice system. The Article concludes that the agencies responsible for administering federal law must not be permitted to continue to avoid compliance with clear statutory mandates. They are failing to meet their legal responsibilities by asserting that services should be provided by other agencies, rather than coordinating efforts with those other agencies to ensure that children get services that are necessary and required by federal law. This Article attempts to identify who, where, how, and why social service systems fail children despite the clear protections for them under federal law. It describes the harsh reality of being a poor, disabled child in the richest nation on earth.

Publication Title

Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy





First Page


Last Page


Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.