A myriad of federal, state and local laws and policies impose standards that are designed to protect foster youth and govern the care that is provided while they are in out-of-home placement. Foster youth have a Constitutional right to a safe living environment and to be protected from harm in care and have additional specific rights conferred by statutory and regulatory provisions. YLC works to ensure that foster youth are protected, their needs are met and their rights are enforced.
- The Group Home Monitoring Project addressed abuses and problems with living conditions in California group homes through the state licensing complaint process. The project focused on improving living conditions and strengthening the enforcement of group home licensing regulations. As a result, foster youth benefited from changes in practice, state policies and enforcement of rights in the areas of safe living environments, private visitation, confidential telephone calls, searches, access to personal belongings, use of physical restraints, reliance on law enforcement for discipline as well as access to school and extracurricular activities.
- Participation on statewide workgroup tasked with revamping licensing regulations governing residential placements for children in foster care.
- Monitoring conditions in county operated children’s shelters as a follow-up to Warren v. Saenz, YLC’s litigation requiring the state to license all children’s shelters.
- Trained advocates, caregivers, youth and other stakeholders on licensing regulations and other standards of care governing foster care placements.
- Sponsored and supported legislation to expand protections, oversight and enforcement of standards of care for foster youth.
- Led Youth Leadership and Advocacy project for youth in or recently emancipated from care.