YLC has long worked to eliminate inappropriate uses of congregate care for children in out-of-home care. Every child needs a family with hands-on parenting (love, commitment, support, direction and structure) whether provided by a birth parent, relative, foster parent, or other parental figure. For some children, congregate care is never appropriate. When necessary group care must have a clearly defined purpose, be time limited and structured to meet the developmental needs of the child.YLC engages in a variety of advocacy strategies to reduce the use of congregate care.
- Instituting the Quality Parenting Initiative in several states to strengthen family based care for foster youth.
- Convened leading experts from around the world on the application of research to the child welfare placement practice of congregate care.
- Opposed legislation that would have exempted crisis nurseries from California’s strict limitations on congregate care for children under age six.
- Monitoring use of California’s county operated children’s shelters for housing children under the age of six.
- Advocacy in Las Vegas, Nevada to eliminate the inappropriate use of the county’s children’s shelter to house infants and toddlers.
- Advocating for the use of family based foster care for youth in the juvenile justice system.
- Participation in statewide workgroups on congregate care reform efforts in California
- Booream v. Orange County (action challenging county’s failure to adhere to state law limitations on placement of children under age six in county children’s shelter.)
- Karen Jones-Mason v. Anderson (action to require the state social services agency to develop regulations limiting the placement of foster children under age six in group care).