Child in Need of Assistance

The Maryland Legal Services Program (MLSP) is a program within the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. MLSP oversees the contracts for the legal representation of children involved in Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) proceedings in Maryland. Legal services for CINA cases are secured by contract through a highly competitive and confidential procurement process. These contracts ensure that a high standard of legal representation is provided to abused and neglected children directly involved in the Maryland foster care system. Legal representation is provided to these children for the duration of their time in need, and enables the MLSP to maintain an efficient fee-based, fiscally responsible payment structure through State contracts.

Pursuant to the Annotated Code of Maryland, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, §3-813 and Family Law Article, §5-307 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, children who are involved in CINA, Voluntary Placement, TPR, Guardianship and related Adoption proceedings are entitled to representation. MLSP manages the legal services contracts Statewide and is charged with ensuring that children involved in the State’s child welfare system receive quality legal representation for the duration of their time in need. MLSP is required to provide compensation to attorneys for legal services rendered for children involved in the child welfare system.

Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Providers

Firm Name


Jurisdiction(s) Served

Jennings law firm, LLC.
Sharon Jennings
109 South Second Street
Denton, MD 21629
(410) 479-2800
Caroline County, Dorchester County, Kent County, Queen Anne’s County, Talbot County
Children’s Legal Services of Baltimore, LLC.
Chris Robinson
P.O. Box 2887
Brooklyn, MD 21225
(410) 609-2444
Baltimore City
Darlene A. Wakefield, PA
Darlene A. Wakefield
2107 Laurel Bush Rd., Suite 101
Bel Air, MD. 21015
(410) 574-7032
Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Prince George’s, Washington Counties
Podzius Birch Law Group, LLC.
Megan Podzius
199 E. Montgomery Ave. Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850
Montgomery County
Williams, McClernan, & Stack, LLC.
Marsha Williams
P.O. Box 188
22715 Washington St., Ste. 201
Leonardtown, MD 20650
(240) 309-4179
Calvert County, Charles County, St. Mary’s County
Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.
Vicki Schultz
The Charles H. Dorsey, Jr. Building 500 E. Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 951-7682
Allegany County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert County, Caroline County, Cecil County, Charles County, Dorchester County, Frederick County, Garrett County, Harford County, Kent County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Somerset County, Talbot County, Washington County, Wicomico County, Worcester County
The Law Firm of Sharon M. Donahue
Sharon Donahue
11724 Ocean Gateway, Suite 3
Ocean City, MD 21842
(410) 213-1147
Somerset County, Wicomico County, Worcester County
The Franklin Law Group, P.C.
Stephanie S. Franklin
10451 Mill Run Circle Suite 605
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Allegany County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Frederick County, Howard County