A Conversation With...Sara Block

On Tuesday, December 13, 2022, Ascend Justice hosted a live online event exclusive to our family of donors.  Our Executive Director, Margaret Duval, sat down with author and Ascend Justice’s Managing Director of Advocacy and Partnership, Sara Block.  

This discussion touches on the advocacy efforts of Sara and Ascend Justice, how this book came to be, and what that process was like for Sara.  We are very thankful that a prevalent individual from Sara’s book was able to join the conversation as well!


About the Book

Together Unbroken: Stories, Law, Practice, and Healing at the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Welfare explores the response of the child welfare system to families experiencing domestic violence. This book focuses on the histories, laws, policies, practices, and judicial cases that influence child welfare interventions and impact families. In questioning the traditional orientation and function of child welfare that is fraught with oppression and family separation, the book promotes a new framework for meeting the needs of children and their families and calls for systemic transformation that enables the ultimate reflection of safety, stability and well-being—the ability to heal.

This book presents substantive analysis alongside narratives from the lives of people impacted by the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare. The survivors and advocates who courageously shared their stories show the human face of these often-abstracted  issues.

About the Author

Sara Block is the Managing Director of Advocacy and Partnerships at Ascend Justice where she focuses on policy and systemic reform that impact families experiencing domestic violence. Sara is also the Academic Director for Child and Family Law Programs at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. In the Masters of Jurisprudence in Child Law program at Loyola, Sara teaches Child Welfare Law and Policy, and Juvenile Justice Law Policy. Sara was a Skadden Fellow at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago with a fellowship focusing on the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare. Sara was awarded the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network’s Outstanding Partnership Award, the Family Defense Center’s Major Litigation Award for her involvement in Julie Q. v. DCFS, and the Jewish United Fund’s “36 Under 36” award. Sara received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2007, where she was a Child Law Fellow and the Features Editor of the Children’s Legal Rights Journal. Sara received her B.A. degree with honors in American Studies from Northwestern University. Sara is the author of the book entitled Together Unbroken: Stories, Law, Practice and Healing at the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Welfare. She has two daughters and feels honored to be their mother.

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