The Delaware Medical-Legal Partnership is a special project of Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) that provides free advocacy services to Delaware residents who are experiencing civil legal issues and are referred by participating health and social service providers.

CLASI has a unique partnership with health and social service providers throughout Delaware to assist qualifying residents through a referral process. We work together to address systemic health inequities by tackling health-harming social needs, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of the individuals and families we serve. Learn more below:

What is a Medical-Legal Partnership?

The Medical-Legal Partnership model is a program to help legal and health care professionals to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of the patients served. MLPs offer an intervention that brings together diverse disciplines – medicine, nursing, social work, public health, and the law – to benefit low-income, vulnerable women, young children, and their families. A high proportion of low-income individuals face serious legal challenges that adversely affect their social, emotional, and financial wellbeing.

How did the Delaware Medical-Legal Partnership start?

The current Delaware Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) program is an expansion of a 2013 pilot collaboration between Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) and the Delaware Department of Public Health’s Healthy Women Healthy Babies (HWHB) Program, creating an MLP for high-risk pregnant women at certain HWHB sites in New Castle County.

This is a crucial population to study because of the significant public health and financial ramifications of maternal stress. Low birth weight and preterm birth are risk factors for poor outcomes in infancy and childhood – infant mortality, delayed cognitive development, incidence of disease, disability – and, even in adulthood, lower levels of educational attainment, earnings, and employment. The pilot MLP provided training to healthcare providers, screening tools to identify unmet legal needs, and free legal assistance to high risk pregnant women. The results were promising in terms of the intervention’s impact on reducing client stress and improving health.

The MLP was then expanded to include all HWHB providers throughout the state, as well as the Nurse Family Partnership/Home Visiting Program in New Castle County. Today, the MLP partners with a wide range of health and social service providers across Delaware.

Who are the participating Delaware Medical-Legal Partnership providers and who is eligible for help?

1) DMLP for Pregnant/Postpartum Women, Funded by the Delaware Division of Public Health:

The DMLP serves patients who are:

  • Pregnant or less than 6 months postpartum and receiving Healthy Women Healthy Babies pre/postnatal services at a participating healthcare provider; or
  • Pregnant or less than 3 years postpartum, receiving Nurse Family Partnership or Healthy Families America services through Children & Families First

Individuals who believe they are eligible for assistance should contact their healthcare provider. Applicants may also contact CLASI to find out more.

2) Casey Family Programs MLP:

For those who are receiving services with Stubbs Dual Generation/Early Education Center or Nemours Children’s Jessup Street Health Clinic.

Individuals must be referred by Stubbs Center staff. 

3) CJC/VOCA Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault MLP:

The DMLP serves survivors of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault who are receiving services from Child Inc. or YWCA’s Sexual Assault Response Center (SARC).

Individuals who believe they are eligible for assistance should contact their Child Inc. or SARC provider. 

CJC/FVPSA Family Violence MLP:

The DMLP serves Latinx survivors of Family Violence living in Sussex County receiving services at People’s Place, through Abriendo Puertas or the SAFE Program.

Individuals who believe they are eligible for assistance should contact their People’s Place provider.

5) Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) MLP:

The DMLP serves individuals receiving services at any of the DSAMH Bridge Clinic locations.

Individuals who believe they are eligible for assistance should contact their DSAMH provider.


6) Salvation Army/OVC MLP for Survivors of Human Trafficking:

The DMLP serves survivors of sex and/or labor trafficking receiving services from the Salvation Army “Restoration Now” Anti-Human Trafficking Program in Delaware.

Individuals who believe they are eligible for assistance should contact their Salvation Army provider.


7) DMLP at Christiana Care Health System (CCHS):

The DMLP serves patients who receive primary care services from a CCHS Medical Group Practice and have income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Individuals who wish to apply should call the CCHS Health Guide Office at 302-320-6586.

What problems are handled by the Delaware Medical-Legal Partnership?

  • Income issues such as Medicaid, Food benefits, Social Security.
  • Housing problems such as evictions, voucher terminations, poor living conditions;
  • Employment and education issues such as pregnancy discrimination, or accommodations in school/higher education
  • Legal Immigration Status issues for victims of domestic violence, trafficking, crimes, and juveniles who are abused/dependent/neglected.
  • Personal and Family Stability issues such problems with Division of Family Services, need for a Protection from Abuse order, disability related problems.
  • And more!

Note: The Medical Legal Partnership does not handle criminal matters, malpractice cases, traffic offenses, wills, or matters adverse to MLP partners or providers.

I am a patient or receive services from a participating provider – how do I apply for help from the Medical-Legal Partnership?

Talk to your provider about completing a referral to CLASI. If your legal problem cannot wait until you speak with your provider about a referral, visit the CLASI office nearest you or call the office in your county and tell them that you are applying for Medical-Legal Partnership project services. Once you are referred to us, a staff member will ask you for intake information. This is required by our funding sources before we can serve you. If you are eligible for services, and you have a legal problem that we handle, your information will be given to a member of our legal staff who will review it and contact you.

I am a participating Medical-Legal Partnership provider; how do I refer patients?

Download and complete the referral form, then follow the directions at the bottom of the form to submit to CLASI by email or fax. The screening and referral form may be available in your facility’s electronic medical records program.  You can also download a PDF or type-able PDF version of the form by clicking on the following links:

I am a participating healthcare provider. Why refer through the MLP instead of just telling patients to contact CLASI directly?

There are two main reasons why you should refer through the MLP. First, the demand for legal services far exceeds the funding available for CLASI to represent the low-income community. As a result, CLASI has very specific priorities in its Poverty Program and must turn away cases outside of those priorities. The MLP is dedicated funding to serve the patients of the participating providers and provides us more flexibility and resources to assist your patients. Second, the MLP is a collaboration between healthcare providers and legal staff, which will have some back and forth between the legal and healthcare teams, in terms of advocacy strategies and training. This collaboration will help healthcare providers to identify potential legal problems and learn advocacy skills to help patients prevent the problem from rising to the level that it needs an attorney to resolve it.

I am a healthcare provider and would like to find out about establishing a Medical-Legal Partnership for my patients. Whom do I contact?

Call us at (302) 575-0660 or email