The attorneys at Justice for Kids have been longtime supporters of many community initiatives that support individuals and families in need. They have earned countless awards for thousands of hours of pro bono work on behalf of the state’s at-risk populations, providing a voice to make much-needed changes.
Florida’s Children First: In 2002, Howard Talenfeld became the Founding Board Chair and President of Florida’s Children First (floridaschildrenfirst.org), Florida’s statewide advocacy group that has been the voice for at-risk children. He devotes more than 100 hours every year since to policy issues, administrative responsibilities, fundraising, and leadership critical to the existence, operation and growth of this organization. The entire Justice for Kids team is actively involved in the work of Florida’s Children First. In fact, in 2019, Kelley Kronenberg became the Presenting Statewide Sponsor, making a substantial commitment to the success and continuing work of the organization.
Broward Legal Aid: The partners and staff at Justice for Kids have long been supporters of Children’s Advocacy Programs at LAS and CCLA, such as the Tracey McPharlin Pro Bono Dependency Project. As one of Ms. McPharlin’s former law partners, Howard Talenfeld helped conceive the project and has supported the initiative since its inception. Howard also helped conceive and advocate for the creation of a $250,000 grant from the Children Services Council, which will enable LAS to hire attorneys to represent dependent children. Additionally, Justice for Kids Business Unit Leader Stacie Schmerling serves as an Attorney Ad Litem through The Tracey McPharlin Pro Bono Dependency.
Justice for Kids attorneys Howard Talenfeld and Nicole Coniglio were successful in challenging a substantial reduction in private duty nursing hours by a managed care provider, which did a paper review reduction of benefits for a medically fragile child. They also challenged that the award was for L.P.N. hours where hours for R.N.’s should have been awarded. In 2013, they were honored by the Daily Business Review as its Most Effective Lawyers Awards program for their work on this case.
In 1999, Howard served as lead co-counsel to the Broward County Foster Care Class Action, Ward v. Feaver.
Since 2009, Howard has been representing, pro bono, a child, A.S., who nearly drowned. As her attorney ad litem, Howard is seeking a claims bill before the Florida Legislature. He has spent hundreds of hours and is fighting for a claims bill in the 2020-21 session one more time because her Medicaid benefits will be significantly reduced after she turns 21. Read more
In June of 2020, Howard Talenfeld was named Chair of the Florida Bar Legal Needs of Children Committee (www.floridabar.org), for the second time. He first served in 2009 and was responsible for uniting the committee to the passage of legislation creating a statutory right to attorneys for medically fragile, disabled children, victims of human trafficking and children requiring residential treatment.