The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County's Peninsula Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is a medical-legal partnership that provides free legal services to children, pregnant women and their families to help address the social determinants of health. Legal Aid lawyers are integrated into the medical team to represent patients and consult with providers. FAP trains medical providers including nurses, social workers, and doctors to identify when poverty or other legal factors threaten patients’ health. These trainings lead providers to refer patients to Legal Aid for help with legal issues impacting their health. And together, FAP’s medical-legal team address policy issues impacting patient health.
FAP also engages in systemic advocacy to address policy issues affecting low-income families in the county. For example, FAP advocated with the Health Plan of San Mateo to ensure that children on Medi-Cal diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder received timely access to behavioral health treatment. FAP’s partner providers had noticed that their patients with autism were not receiving much needed behavioral therapies. Doctors referred these patients to FAP, and FAP saw that there was a pattern of delay in service provision. FAP attorneys filed grievances and advocated with administrators at the Health Plan. As a result of FAP’s advocacy, the Health Plan has switched to a new administrator of behavioral health treatment for children with autism, and children are receiving services in a much more timely fashion.
Medical providers in FAP's partner clinics and hospitals refer patients and their families for help with civil legal problems including:
- Health insurance and medical bills
- Public benefits
- Special education and the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
- Disability benefits
- Domestic violence
FAP MLP Clinics and Hospitals
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
(650) 497-8000 / general operator, not for emergencies
Ravenswood Family Center
Gardner Packard Children's Health Center
San Mateo Medical Center's Prenatal Clinics
For more information on Legal Aid's Peninsula Family Advocacy Program: please visit the program's website: www.peninsulafap.org or call (650) 517-8904.
Legal Aid would like to thank First Five San Mateo County, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, Palo Alto Medical Group Community HEALTH Core Endowment Fund, the State Bar of California Legal Services Trust Fund, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and individual donors for their funding support of the Peninsula Family Advocacy Program.