Affiliated Faculty


Karen Worthington, JD 
Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Consultant, Karen Worthington Consulting
Atlanta, Georgia USA

Scholarship: Juvenile Justice • Child Welfare • Foster Care • Children's Rights • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children 


Karen Worthington is a nationally recognized children’s law expert working on behalf of court-involved children and children at risk of committing crimes or being victimized. She has her own child welfare and juvenile justice consulting business, Karen Worthington Consulting. She was the founding director of the Barton Child Law & Policy Center at Emory Law, a multi-disciplinary children’s law center dedicated to improving systems that work with court-involved children and their families in Georgia.

During her ten-years as the Barton Center director, she also served as a senior fellow with the Center for Study of Law and Religion at Emory Law (2003-present), a Global Affiliated Faculty member of the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative at Emory University (2010-present), completed Emory University’s first Academic Leadership Program class (2008-2009), and directed the Southern Juvenile Defender Center, a regional support center for attorneys and other professionals defending children accused of breaking the law (2001-2005). She was also a founding board member of the Interfaith Children’s Movement.

Worthington has authored and edited several publications about court-involved children, including the book What is Right for Children?  The Competing Paradigms of Religion and Human Rights, co-edited with Martha Albertson Fineman. Worthington has worked on children’s issues at the local, state, national, and international level. She received the 2011 Emory Public Interest Committee Inspiration Award for Unsung Devotion to Those Most in Need and the 2009 National Association of Counsel for Children Outstanding Legal Advocacy Award.