Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that he has appointed Sarah Eagan of West Hartford to serve as the State of Connecticut’s new Child Advocate.
“Sarah Eagan has extensive experience advocating for the needs of children, particularly those in our society who are most vulnerable and in need of a vocal proponent on their behalf,” Governor Malloy said. “The Office of the Child Advocate is particularly significant because it is responsible for speaking on behalf of the youngest people in our society who, in most circumstances, cannot do so themselves. I am glad to appoint Sarah to this position and I look forward to working with her to advance these importance matters.”
The Office of the Child Advocate monitors and evaluates public and private agencies that are charged with the protection of children, and reviews state agency policies and procedures to ensure they protect children’s rights and promote their best interest. The office may recommend policy changes for the juvenile justice system, child care programs, and foster care treatment, and may also intervene in judicial proceedings on behalf of children.
“I am honored, humbled and very grateful to the Governor for providing me this opportunity to work on behalf of the state’s children and their families,” Eagan said. “I look forward to continuing a productive and collaborative working relationship with the many people I have met over the years who care for and about children. The courage of the children I have had the privilege to meet or represent, as well as the dedication and generosity of the adults who care for them, inspire me to serve on their behalf.”
Since 2006, Eagan has served as Director of the Child Abuse Project with the Center for Children’s Advocacy in Hartford, where she has been responsible for a number of initiatives to advance the legal rights of Connecticut’s most vulnerable children, including conducting legislative advocacy efforts regarding child welfare issues, participating in child welfare advocacy, facilitating training for child protection professionals, and representing children of all ages in abuse, neglect and special education matters. Eagan has participated in numerous taskforces and working groups with professionals and parents, all working to ensure the needs of vulnerable children are better met.
Prior to that role, she worked as a litigation associate with Shipman & Goodwin, where she represented clients in commercial litigation, malpractice and personal injury defense. She received a B.A. in American Studies from Trinity College in Hartford and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
The advisory committee to the Office of the Child Advocate, established under state statute, was required to submit to the Governor a list of recommended candidates from which to choose for the position.
Eagan will begin in the role on September 9 and will serve as acting Child Advocate until receiving confirmation by the General Assembly during the next legislative session. She replaces Jamey Bell, who announced in May her plans to depart.