Financial support through programs such as AFDC-FC (foster care benefits), Kin-GAP (Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program) and Adoption Assistance, is essential to maintain appropriate placements for children and to ensure they receive the services and care they need. Specialized care rates and programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Regional Center services help to ensure that services are available to address children’s special needs. The Youth Law Center advocates for effective program funding and works with local advocates to ensure that children get the benefits and services for which they are eligible.
Legal Services Support
The Youth Law Center serves as a support center for California legal services programs funded by the Legal Services Trust Fund, also known as Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA.) YLC attorneys provide consultation, training and technical assistance to advocates of Qualified Legal Services Programs and pro bono attorneys working with them.
AB 12 Implementation Project
Through the AB 12 Implementation Project, the Youth Law Center advocates for effective implementation of federal and state law providing for extended benefits for youth who turn 18, designs and delivers training on the new law, and provides technical assistance when questions and problems arise.
We are placing a special focus on ensuring that youth in the juvenile justice system have access to extended benefits to help these youth transition to adulthood successfully.
- Engaging with other advocates and state and local officials to ensure successful implementation of AB 12, which will provide extended foster care, Kin-GAP, and Adoption Assistance benefits for children other the age 18 in California.
- Providing information and technical assistance to legal services advocates and attorneys who represent children in juvenile court on issues that affect public benefits and services.
- Designing and delivering “Alphabet Soup” training on benefits available to children in out of home care in collaboration with the Alliance for Children’s Rights and Bay Area Legal Aid.
- Hosting a foster care benefits list serve for legal services advocates and attorneys who represent children in dependency and delinquency proceedings, in collaboration with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Bay Area Legal Aid, the Benchmark Institute, and Legal Services of Northern California.
- Holding bi-monthly foster care benefits conference calls, which provide a forum for advocates to discuss solutions to current public benefits problems that arise in individual cases and develop proposals for systemic change to make public benefits programs more effective in meeting the needs of children.
- Developing and distributing facts sheets on public benefits for children and families involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems.