YLC submits comments to CDSS on proposed budget trailer

YLC recently submitted comments to the CDSS on the initial print version of the proposed budget trailer bill implementing the 2018 federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) to raise concerns primarily about the timing and coordination of key elements of the case planning process and the adequacy of equitable provisions governing probation supervised foster youth. […]

New advocacy resource to support stability of youth tenants in THP-Plus

Youth Law Center and Bay Area Legal Aid have created a new resource that we hope will be useful to your advocacy. Ensuring Stability and Success for Youth Tenants in THP-Plus was developed to help civil legal advocates initiate capacity-building conversations about transition planning with THP-Plus providers and the county agencies that oversee them. THP-Plus is a transitional program for former foster […]

The time is now, stop institutionalizing children

  At any given time, there are approximately 42,823 children housed in institutions and other group facilities. The trends of abuse, lack of mental health support, and racial inequality within child welfare institutions have harmed children and families for too long – and our history clearly shows that you cannot fix a fundamentally bad practice. […]

California Halts Use of Out of State Foster Care Facilities

Months of Youth Law Center advocacy with the Young Women’s Freedom Center demanding that the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) exercise its oversight and enforcement obligations to protect California youth from being placed in  dangerous out of state facilities that fail to comply with California standards has resulted in CDSS closing admissions to, and […]

New webinar on preventing involuntary exits from THP-Plus

Please join us and our co-hosts Bay Area Legal Aid and Public Counsel for the webinar “Advocacy Strategies for Preventing Involuntary Exits from Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THP-Plus)” on December 15th at 1:30pm PST. This interactive webinar will provide an overview of our recent THP-Plus advocacy guide and then discuss practice scenarios with Bay Area Legal Aid’s Henrissa Bassey and […]

New Advocacy Guide: Preventing Involuntary Exits from Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THP-Plus)

Youth Law Center has created a new resource that we hope will be useful to your advocacy. Preventing Involuntary Exits from Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THP-Plus) was developed after young adults reported being exited prematurely from their transitional housing programs, sometimes without notice or proper process. In THP-Plus, a transitional program for former foster youth, a […]

YLC joins amicus brief in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

YLC is proud to sign on to an amicus brief in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia along with dozens of child welfare advocates urging SCOTUS to uphold Philadelphia’s non-discrimination policy. Children, youth, and families will suffer if SCOTUS grants government-contracted foster care agencies with a sweeping license to discriminate against same-sex couples, people of minority […]

Just Released: A New Deal for Transition Age Foster Youth in California

The Youth Law Center is proud to share a new policy brief, A New Deal for Transition Age Foster Youth in California: A Policy Roadmap for Ensuring a Resilient Recovery after COVID-19. The brief proposes critical short- and long-term policy action steps that build on California’s emergency policy response for transition age youth who are in foster […]

Victory! Senate Bill 912 Moves Forward

Senate Bill 912, co-sponsored by YLC and authored by Senator Jim Beall, is continuing to move forward in the Assembly after passing unanimously out of the Senate. This bill would allow youth to continue participating in extended foster care during a California state of emergency, even if they turn 21 or no longer meet the participation requirements and allows […]

Victory! CA Governor Signs Budget to Extend Foster Care

Advocacy from YLC and other advocate partners to create a lifeline for youth in foster care who were imminently facing a 21st birthday and potential homelessness during this pandemic has resulted in a major victory! California Governor Newsom has signed the Budget Act of 2020, which includes $32 million to allow youth to remain in extended foster care until June 30, 2021, as long as […]

A Just and Loving Future for Black Children

The world is finally listening to the powerful calls from Black leaders for justice and radical change in our police and criminal justice systems and an end to systemic racism. The response must not overlook the need for reform in child welfare and juvenile justice systems that have long taken the lives and childhoods of […]

Webinar for Six Immediate Steps for THP-Plus Stability

YLC, John Burton Advocates for Youth and Bay Area Legal Aid  provided virtual training to California agencies outlining six steps counties can take to extend THP-Plus housing and services or access alternative housing resources to support youth during the crisis, so they do not exit THP-Plus at risk of homelessness and without a safe place to shelter in place […]

Six Immediate Steps for THP-Plus Stability

**NOTE: This resource has been updated and can now be found here and here. (August 24, 2020)   Youth Law Center, in partnership with John Burton Advocates for Youth and Bay Area Legal Aid, has developed a resource to promote housing stability among youth in California’s Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THP-Plus). THP-Plus programs provide transitional housing […]

May is National Foster Care Month

May is #NationalFosterCareMonth. Every day, but in particular during the 31 days in May, we aim to recognize the 400,000+ young people in our country’s child welfare system. COVID19 has changed our world and our daily way of life, and for young people in our child welfare system, these changes are potentially devastating. Now more […]

Virtual 2020 QPI National Conference

We are thrilled to share that the 2020 National QPI Conference will move forward – as a virtual conference! Scheduled for May 26-29 on Zoom, this year’s conference will focus on sustaining relationship based systems during uncertain times. We hope you will join us for a plenary, 5 master class webinars featuring national experts, and […]

QPI’s COVID-19 webcasts posted online

Last month, YLC’s Quality Parenting Initiative launched a new resource series, COVID-19: The New Normal, providing weekly webcasts from child development and legal experts along with emails containing tips, resources, examples of COVID-related policies, and inspiration from the field. Our first 4 webcasts and weekly emails are now posted online. Check them out on QPI’s resource […]

YLC’s Emergency Planning Toolkit for Youth in Congregate Care

Youth Law Center has developed an emergency planning resource to support attorneys and advocates working with youth in congregate care.  As you know more than anyone, youth in congregate care facilities face acute risks in a public health emergency.  Meanwhile, the state licensing agencies that are tasked with monitoring the safety and wellbeing of young […]

Joint Statement on Child Welfare Courts During a Public Health Crisis

Child Welfare Courts During a Public Health Crisis: Access to Justice and Advocacy are Critical Anchors During Uncertain Times Children’s Advocacy Institute Children’s Rights Juvenile Law Center National Association of Counsel for Children National Center for Youth Law Youth Law Center In this time of profound uncertainty, child welfare systems face unprecedented challenges to ensuring […]

QPI Webcast: “The Power of Connection: How Resource Families Can Support Adolescents Through COVID-19 Crisis”

We’re happy to announce the launch of our QPI resource series, COVID-19: The New Normal. Our first webcast is The Power of Connection: How Resource Families Can Support Adolescents Through COVID-19 Crisis. In this 75-minute event, tune in for a conversation between national adolescent development expert Dr. Ken Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, Co-Director of the Center for Parent and Teen […]

Youth Law Center’s COVID-19 Resources

Overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. For children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and their families, these changes are potentially devastating. Children who have already experienced the world as a lonely and dangerous place face more challenges when they are isolated from family and community. Systems under […]

YLC’s advocacy for children during COVID-19

Dear friends, Overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. For children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and their families, these changes are potentially devastating. Children who have already experienced the world as a lonely and dangerous place face more challenges when they are isolated from family and […]

YLC launches QPI resource series “COVID19: The New Normal”

We understand that the daily changes and constantly updated information on the COVID-19 crisis can be overwhelming. However panic cannot and should not drive our work off course. Children, foster parents and birth parents deal with incredibly challenging personal crises every day. They are the pros and know how to deal with challenges one day […]

YLC’s Emergency Planning Tool for Youth and Families

YLC has created an emergency planning resource to support attorneys and advocates working with transition age youth and their families during this crisis. The resource, Making An Emergency Plan with Transition Age Youth in Foster Care: A Checklist for Dependency Attorneys, Youth Providers, and Advocates, can be found online here, and we’ll be making updates […]

YLC welcomes two new team members!

We are thrilled to announce that we have welcomed two new staff members to the YLC team: Katie Bliss, Project Coordinator Katie Bliss is the California Higher Education Project Coordinator at Youth Law Center (YLC) advocating to implement programing and support policy across the state to ensure juvenile justice involved youth have direct pathways to higher […]

Unsung Heroes a huge success!

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Unsung Heroes celebration last week on the beautiful Ohana Floor at Salesforce! Friends, supporters, YLC staff and members of our Board of Directors gathered to celebrate the phenomenal work of our 2020 honorees. This year, our five honorees have worked to increase higher education opportunities for […]

Jennifer Rodriguez honored as 2020 REFCA Champion

We are so excited to share that Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Movement: Treehouse Foundation has honored Jennifer Rodriguez, YLC’s Executive Director, as one of the 2020 REFCA Champions! This special award highlights foster care alumni who are innovators in transforming the way we care for our nation’s most vulnerable young people. We at YLC are so very […]

YLC welcomes Sabrina Forte, new Staff Attorney!

YLC is excited to welcome our newest staff member: Sabrina Forte! Sabrina Forte is a staff attorney at YLC. Her work focuses on preventing homelessness and ensuring lasting housing stability for young people who have been impacted by foster care and incarceration. Prior to joining YLC, Sabrina was a staff attorney and project coordinator for […]

YLC presents at 2019 Beyond the Bench

YLC is thrilled to have participated in the 2019 Beyond the Bench conference. This statewide conference brings together judges, court professionals, attorneys, social workers, probation officers, agency leaders, students, volunteers, advocates and subject matter experts, mental and behavioral health specialists, educators, and other system partners to transform practice. YLC delivered several trainings including one on […]

Announcing our 2020 Unsung Heroes Honorees!

Click here to reserve your tickets today! Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Click here to learn more or send an email to sweiss@ylc.org. Your fully tax deductible sponsorship of this special celebration is a way to pay tribute to our champions and work by providing critical unrestricted support to sustain and advance our advocacy for vulnerable children. […]

Thank you for a phenomenal 2019!

As 2019 is coming to a close, we want to take a moment to say thank you to our community of supporters for joining in our vision of a world where all youth involved in child welfare and juvenile justice systems are loved, happy, healthy, and thriving. Our accomplishments and victories for children, youth, and families over […]

Important Update: Date Change for 20th Annual Unsung Heroes

Important update: we’ve changed the date for our 20th Annual Unsung Heroes Awards! Please join us on Friday, February 7th, 2020 at Salesforce in San Francisco. This special event is an opportunity to celebrate the everyday champions who rarely receive the public recognition they deserve but who make a tremendous difference in the lives of […]

5 Tips for Prioritizing Extracurriculars as a Key Intervention for Youth

Extracurricular activities provide meaningful educational, social, and developmental advantages for youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems who face significant barriers to success. They help young people discover new interests, make connections with peers and supportive adults, and develop independence, self-esteem, and resilience. Many thanks to the American Bar Association for featuring this great piece in […]

YLC Publishes Policy Brief on Extracurriculars as Key Intervention

The Youth Law Center is proud to share a policy brief exploring the critical role of extracurricular activities for children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. The brief examines the benefits of extracurricular participation, the barriers young people face, and details inspiring programs working to ensure our young people have access […]

YLC Welcomes Meredith Desautels & Tracy Schiro

The Youth Law Center is pleased to announce the hiring of our newest staff members: Meredith Desautels and Tracy Schiro! Meredith Desautels is a staff attorney at the Youth Law Center. Her work focuses on ending the criminalization of childhood and replacing youth incarceration with positive, developmentally-appropriate supports that are rooted in family and community. […]

Jennifer Rodriguez Awarded 2019 JLC Leadership Prize!

YLC is proud to announce that our Executive Director, Jennifer Rodriguez, has been awarded the 2019 Leadership Prize from the Juvenile Law Center! We are grateful for and inspired by Jennifer’s fearless, relentless, creative, and thoughtful leadership. Congratulations, Jennifer, on this momentous occasion! JLC’s Leadership Prize recognizes outstanding individuals who are fighting for the rights […]

YLC’s 40th Anniversary & Unsung Heroes Celebration!

Please join the Youth Law Center at our 40th Anniversary & Unsung Heroes Celebration on Friday, December 14th at Salesforce in San Francisco to celebrate 40 years of YLC advocacy for children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems! This special anniversary will be a celebration of all of our partners over […]

Carole Shauffer Honored by AACAP

YLC is thrilled to announce that the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) selected Youth Law Center’s Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives Carole Shauffer for the 2018 Catchers in the Rye Humanitarian Award – the Academy’s highest honor. Carole was nominated for this incredible honor by internationally recognized child psychiatrist and infant mental […]

Breaking: YLC-sponsored AB 2448 signed into law!

On Sunday evening, September 30, 2018, Governor Brown signed Youth Law Center-sponsored Assembly Bill 2448 authored by Assembly member Mike A. Gipson. This bill helps ensure that foster youth and probation-supervised youth in out-of-home placements have access to computer technology and the Internet, to facilitate the education and communication that are key to their health, well-being, and […]

Maria Ramiu Presenting at Child Welfare Policy Roundtable

Maria Ramiu, Youth Law Center’s Senior Staff Attorney, will be a featured panelist presenting on Youth Arrests in Group Homes and Shelters at the July 6th monthly Child Welfare Policy Roundtable focused this month on “Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice”. Maria will be joined by Frankie Guzman, Director of California Youth Justice Initiative, Julie McCormick, Policy Associate at Children’s […]

Making Reunification Possible for Older Youth

June is the only month many child welfare systems formally celebrate reunification, but this is a mistake. Reunification should be celebrated every day of every month for our children and youth. While we often don’t discuss how important returning to family, community and belonging is for teens and older youth, we know it is transformational. […]

Statement on Separation and Detention of Immigrant Families

Youth Law Center (YLC) Statement on Separation and Detention of Immigrant Families The federal government has separated over 2,000 children from their parents at the border under the “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting and incarcerating asylum seekers and other refugees. The separation of immigrant children from their parents and the detention of children with their […]

2017 Fact Sheets for Legal Services and Advocates

Youth Law Center recently updated fact sheets for legal services and other advocates. Please click on the following links to view the full online versions of the December 2017 Foster Care Overview Fact Sheet, Juvenile Justice Overview Fact Sheet, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (kin-GAP) Fact Sheet, and the Relative Caregivers Fact Sheet. Please visit our […]

November is National Adoption Month

“We must create a child welfare system together that is laser-focused on strengthening existing supportive relationships and developing and nurturing new ones. It is these strong and nurturing relationships that must be the child welfare system’s primary intervention and goal.” November is National Adoption Month. Families for youth in foster care must be a moral imperative […]

YLC to Honor Unsung Heroes on December 4th, 2017

Join us on December 4th, 2017 for our 18th Annual Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes reception! Each year the Youth Law Center recognizes people who have made a difference in the lives of our clients during the past year at its Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes Reception. This year’s honorees have helped improve the lives of children […]

Announcing the launch of CHAMPS

YLC is excited about the launch of CHAMPS, a national communications and policy campaign focused on quality parenting! Jennifer Rodriguez, Executive Director of YLC, is co-chairing this campaign, which brings diverse partners together, drawing on the leadership and success of our Quality Parenting Initiative sites, to re-orient child welfare policy and practice around excellent parenting. We are […]

YLC Helps End Placement Disruption for Crossover Youth

The Youth Law Center successfully advocated for the issuance of clarifying guidance by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) that will stop the automatic placement disruption and separation of siblings in foster care when a foster youth comes into contact with the juvenile justice system. Despite longstanding state law permitting dependents and wards to […]

YLC to Honor Unsung Heroes on December 12, 2016

Each year the Youth Law Center recognizes people who have made a difference in the lives of our clients during the past year at its Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes Reception.  This year’s honorees have helped improve the lives of children and youth involved in the nation’s foster care and justice systems.  It is our pleasure […]

Victory for Youth Exiting Foster Care

On September 25, Governor Brown signed into law AB 1849 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson.  This bill, co-sponsored by the Youth Law Center and Children Now, clarifies instructions about Medi-Cal coverage for youth exiting foster care at age 18 or older.  AB 1849 will reduce barriers to foster youth receiving the extended health coverage to which […]

Trauma Screening Bill for At-Risk Children Vetoed

Governor Brown dealt a serious set-back to children in foster care in vetoing SB 1466, which would have ensured that children on Medi-Cal receive expert-recommended trauma screenings. When left unaddressed, trauma in childhood causes long term harm, from heightened risk of illness, substance abuse, and premature death to increased learning problems and a greater chance […]

Federal Court Questions Detention of Immigrant Youth

YLC was of counsel on a recent motion to enforce the settlement agreement in Flores v. Lynch which challenged the federal government’s practice of indefinitely detaining immigrant children without a hearing.  The Flores settlement agreement requires that children be provided with bond redetermination hearings in front of an immigration judge.  The government has consistently failed to provide […]

YLC Works to Ensure Trauma Screening for At-Risk Youth

Childhood trauma is the leading public health issue of our time and one that disproportionately impacts children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  When unaddressed, trauma can cause lasting harm, lead to a host of problems in adulthood, and even shorten lives. With our care and support, all our children can heal and […]

YLC asks Court to Depublish Opinion in Ivan N.

YLC filed a request with the California Supreme Court to depublish In re Ivan N, a recently issued California Court of Appeal opinion holding that foster youth education rights do not apply to probation supervised foster youth.  The court badly misinterpreted several statutory provisions that are critical in ensuring that probation-supervised foster youth are treated equitably and […]

Expanded SSI Application Window for Foster Kids

The federal government recently extended the time for foster youth to apply for SSI from 90 days to 6 months prior to leaving foster care. The extension will be piloted for one year, starting August 1, 2016, while the SSA assesses if it decreases gaps in coverage for disabled youth who are eligible.  Youth Law […]

Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth – Progress!

The Youth Law Center, along with ChildrenNOW and NHeLP, has been working to ensure implementation of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require states to provide health care coverage up to age 26 for youth who were in foster care on their 18th birthday and were enrolled in Medicaid while in foster care.  The […]

YLC Unsung Hero Appointed as CA Foster Care Ombudsman

The California Department of Social Services has just named Rochelle Trochtenberg to be the new California Foster Care Ombudsman.  The office is responsible for educating foster youth about their rights and how to report violations.  It also investigates and resolves individual complaints.  Rochelle is a former foster youth who grew up in California’s child welfare system […]

Alice Bussiere Participates in Webinar on Families First Act

Staff attorney Alice Bussiere participated in Foster Youth in Action’s first public hot topics webinar: State Policies on Non-Family Foster Care Settings.  The webinar focused on the proposed Families First Act and other policy issues. The proposed act is intended to increase early intervention to reduce foster care entry and also to prevent prolonged stays […]

YLC Honors Unsung Heroes on December 7, 2015

Each year the Youth Law Center recognizes people who have made a difference in the lives of our clients during the past year at its Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes Reception.  This year’s honorees have helped improve the lives of children and youth involved in the nation’s foster care and justice systems.  It is our pleasure […]

Governor Brown Signs Landmark Child Welfare Bill

YLC celebrates Governor Brown’s signing of AB 403, a landmark bill that will move child welfare and probation away from reliance on unnecessary congregate care placement and towards developing capacity for children to be raised in families! These changes align California policy with child development research that establishes the importance of parenting as the most […]

Action Alert on Congregate Care Bill

Tell Governor Brown Children in Foster Care Deserve Families, Not Institutions –Now is the time to urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign AB 403! Children have the right to grow up in a family — in fact, it is a basic developmental need. Every child needs a family who can provide hands-on parenting through love, commitment, […]

President Obama Names May 2015 National Foster Care Month

Recognizing that “Children are best raised in families, not institutions,” President Barak Obama on April 30th issued a proclamation naming May 2015 as National Foster Care Month.  There are over 400,000 boys and girls in the nation’s foster care system. More than 100,000 of them are waiting to be adopted, and every year, 23,000 young […]

CDSS Fails to Properly Investigate Group Homes

An investigation by ProPublica has found that the California Department of Social Services fails to swiftly or conclusively investigate hundreds of claims of misconduct and other problems in group homes that house the state’s most troubled children. ProPublica reviewed more than 450 complaint investigations undertaken by the agency between 2009 and 2014 from roughly 50 Level […]

The California Senate Judiciary Committee Approves SB 12

The California Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved  SB 12 on April 14, 2015.  SB 12 is a bill to widen the door on extended foster care to highly vulnerable populations of former foster youth.  Learn more about extended foster care and SB 12 here: Widening Door on Extended Foster Care for Probation Youth – Chronicle of Social […]

YLC Co-Sponsors Bill to Extend Foster Care Benefits

Youth Law Center and the Alliance for Children Rights have co-sponsored SB 12, a bill now before the California Legislature which will  provide a support net to vulnerable former foster youth under the age of 21 who were excluded in prior legislative efforts to extend foster care to youth who require the assistance and protections […]

YLC Reduces Group Care in Florida

YLC is partnering with foster families, foster youth and other advocates to support new Florida legislation, SB, 940, limiting the inappropriate use of congregate care for children in foster care.  Carole Shauffer, YLC Director of Strategic Initiatives testified to the Florida Senate,  “Group care is an intervention, it’s not a place to live.  Group care […]

YLC Urges Additional Protections for Immigrant Children

YLC and the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) have submitted comments on Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards for facilities housing unaccompanied immigrant children in federal custody.  Over three dozen individuals and organizations from across the country signed on to the comments. The comments respond to a Department of Health and Human Services […]

Commission on Child Abuse to Hold Open Meeting

The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), a federal advisory committee established by the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012 (P. L. 112-275), will hold a public meeting in Portland, Oregon on Thursday, February 26, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday, February 27, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. […]

Jennifer Rodriguez testifies on use of psychiatric meds.

YLC Executive Director Jennifer Rodriguez testified before the California Senate Human Services Committee on February 24th on the key role parenting and loving supportive relationships  play in preventing inappropriate use of psychotropic medications for youth in foster care.  Reforms around use of psychotropic medications for foster youth must include efforts to restrict use of congregate […]

Study Reveals Greater Commitment of Foster Parents

Youth Law Center recently joined with nationally renowned researchers on research that demonstrates that foster parents show greater commitment toward youth than group care providers of all types. The study is important because while this commitment is a critical element of healthy development for youth, adolescents are frequently placed in group care rather than with […]

YLC Honors Unsung Heroes on December 8, 2014

Each year the Youth Law Center recognizes people who have made a difference in the lives of our clients during the past year at its Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes Reception.  This year’s honorees have helped improve the lives of children and youth involved in the nation’s foster care and justice systems.  It is our pleasure […]

Governor Signs AB 338 Protecting Crossover Youth

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law AB 388 (Chesbro) requiring oversight on the use of law enforcement in group homes, limiting the unnecessary secure detention of foster youth, and providing the same protections for foster youth that non-foster youth living at home with parents routinely receive when they come into contact with the delinquency […]

Governor Signs SB 1111 Ensuring Educational Placement Rights

On September 29, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1111 (Lara), a comprehensive bill that addresses the transfer rights of students referred to county community schools, makes the statute consistent with state and federal laws governing the educational placement rights of foster care and homeless youth, and closes an existing loophole in the discipline code […]

Consensus Statement on Group Care for Children Published

A Consensus Statement on Group Care for Children and Adolescents has been published in the most recent volume of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.   The paper is the result of a two-day meeting held in the summer of 2012 hosted by the Youth Law Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation on the application […]

YLC Supports Reduction of Psychotropic Medication

YLC joined over 110 organizations to support the President’s proposed five-year collaborative demonstration, which is designed to encourage states to provide evidence-based therapeutic interventions to children and youth in foster care and to reduce the inappropriate use and over-prescription of psychotropic medications.  The Administration’s Budget includes a new Medicaid demonstration, in partnership with the Administration […]

YLC Supports Therapeutic Foster Care Bills

YLC has joined a long list of national and state organizations to support federal legislation designed to ensure that children and youth in foster care will have access to vital Medicaid services and quality providers.  S. 1992 and H.R.4016 are bipartisan, bicameral bills, also known as the Quality Foster Care Services Act of 2014.  They […]

Tribal Youth in Transition Training

The Youth Law Center provided training on Tribal Youth in Transition in collaboration with the Yurok Tribe, California Indian Legal Services, and the Alliance for Children’s Rights at the Yurok Tribal Community Center in Klamath California on November 20, 2013.  The training covered AB 12, which extends support for eligible youth after age 18, and focused […]

Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth Project

The Youth Law Center has launched a project to ensure that former foster youth are able to get comprehensive, affordable health care coverage.   Access to health insurance is critical in supporting a healthy transition to adulthood for thousands of young adults transitioning out of foster care.  Many of these youth have ongoing special health care […]

Jennifer Rodriguez Appointed to Presidential Commission

The Youth Law Center is proud to announce that President Obama has appointed Jennifer Rodriguez, our Executive Director, to the Presidential Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.  Jennifer is one of six Presidential appointees to the Commission which will be chaired by David Sanders, Executive Vice President of the Casey Family Programs, and […]

In Memoriam – YLC Mourns Passing of Thomas A. Welch

We would like to take a moment to say goodbye to our dear friend and former Board President Thomas A. Welch, who passed away this May after losing a month-long battle with Leukemia.  Tom served as Board President from 1990 to 2003 and was a Board Member for over 20 years.  He was a fierce […]

YLC to Pilot Visitation Project with Univ. of Delaware

The Youth Law Center has received Federal Title IV-B grant funding to pilot the program, Attachment Biobehavioral Catchup for Visitation, (ABC-V) for short, in Reno for the next two years.   The program will  train foster parents to coach and support birth parents during reunification visits using material developed from the Attachment Biobehavioral Catchup developed by […]

YLC Endorses SSI Restoration Act, H.R. 1601

The Youth Law Center has endorsed the SSI Restoration Act, H.R. 1601, introduced by Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (Arizona).   The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program funds foster care for children with disabilities and is an important source of support for children with disabilities in low income families.  The Act would modernize and streamline eligibility rules that […]

Jennifer Rodriguez on Kids Aging Out of Foster Care Panel

Jennifer Rodriguez participated in the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Children’s Rights Litigation Committee (CRLC)’s teleconference “From 17–21: What Lawyers, Judges, and Agencies Should Be Doing for Kids Aging out of Foster Care” that took place on March 12, 2013.  The teleconference focused on practical ideas and options for lawyers, judges, and agencies to […]

YLC Comments on ACA Proposed Rules re Former Foster Youths

  The Youth Law Center submitted comments on proposed rules to implement the extension of Medicaid to former foster youth up to the age of 26 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)   The ACA provides Medicaid to former foster youth who are in foster care when they emancipate from foster care (at age 18 or older […]

Principles for Immigration Reform that Works for Children

The Youth Law Center has joined over 200 child, immigration, religious, academic, and civil rights organizations to endorse principles for immigration reform legislation that meets the needs of children. 200+ Advocates Offer Principles for Immigration Reform that Works for Children Press Release Principles for Children in Immigration Reform

YLC Celebrates Release of National Standards for Juvenile Defenders

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) has just released the first ever set of National Juvenile Defense Standards.  The Standards represent a comprehensive understanding of the role and duties of the juvenile defender in the 21st century juvenile court system, and seek to strengthen and guide the ethical and professional performance of juvenile defense attorneys […]

Training on Public Benefits

The Youth Law Center and Bay Area Legal Aid provided training on public benefits for children for staff at Legal Advocates for Children and Youth in San Jose on January 18, 2013.

Rightsizing Congregate Care

The Youth Law Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation hosted a meeting for representatives of agencies that provide services for children on January 16, 2013, in Clearwater, Florida.  The meeting was part of a project on Rightsizing Congregate Care.  For more information about the project, contact Carole Shauffer.

YLC Helps to Train Juvenile Court Judges

Every year, juvenile court judges from around California convene for a two-day training put on by the Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Judicial Education and Research.  YLC Staff Attorney Sue Burrell was invited to this year’s event, to be part of a two-part workshop on juvenile competence to stand trial.  The first part […]

Agencies Work to Unite Foster, Biological Parents

by KELLI KENNEDY, Associated Press When Angela Austin-Knight’s teenage son and daughter were placed in foster care in 2008, she was despondent and angry. Not only had she lost custody of her children because of her drug use, but now two strangers were raising them. She feared she would have no contact with the foster […]

Supporting Young Adults Training

The Youth Law Center, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Bay Area Legal Aid will be providing training on Supporting Young Adults at the Traveling Training sponsored by the Legal Aid Association of California on November 2, 2012 in Riverside. Title:  Supporting Young Adults: Cash, Medi-Cal, and Housing for Transition Age Youth Name of Trainers:  […]

Two AB 12 Trainings

Alice Bussiere, Youth Law Center Staff Attorney, Brian Blalock, Bay Area Legal Aid,  and Rebecca Marcus, San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, provided training on extended foster care benefits under AB 12 to San Francisco public defenders and panel attorneys on September 18, 2012. On September 19, 2012, Maria Ramiu, Youth Law Center Managing Director, Brian […]

YLC Presentation at APHA Conference

On September 11th, Jennifer Rodriguez, YLC Executive Director, presented at the American Public Humane Association’s conference for Public Welfare Attorneys. Jennifer facilitated a panel of foster youth who discussed the need for the audience of state and local child welfare agency attorneys to take an approach that helps their agency clients remember their mission of […]

YLC Part of CDSS “Continuum of Care” Workgroup

On September 6th, Youth Law Center staff participated in the first meeting of the CDSS “Continuum of Care: Roadmap to Reform” workgroup. This workgroup is tasked with several foster care reform tasks including new guidelines for use of congregate care, and revising rates, services, and programs. Specifically, CDSS reform goals include: care based on an […]

YLC and CDSS Host CDSS Director Webcast for Foster Parents

On August 28th, the Youth Law Center and California Department of Social Services co-hosted a webinar for California foster families on current important issues in providing excellent care to children. CDSS Director Will Lightbourne responded to questions presented from foster parents and youth in Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Tuolomne, Alameda and Glenn counties. Issues covered […]

YLC and AECF Host Forum on Group Care

On August 9th and 10th, the Youth Law Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation hosted a two-day meeting on the application of research in child and adolescent development to child welfare placement practices. Leading researchers from as far away as Israel and the Netherland joined policy makers and advocates to discuss the implications of […]

YLC Takes Part in Alphabet Soup Training

The Youth Law Center joined with Brian Blalock at Bay Area Legal Aid to provide training on benefits for children in foster care at the Family Resource Network in Oakland on April 11. The training is part of YLC’s Alphabet Soup series and covered AFDC-FC (foster care benefits), Kin-GAP (Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments), AAP (Adoption […]

YLC, ACR, and Bay Legal Train Juvenile Court Attorneys

The Youth Law Center, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Bay Area Legal Aid provided additional training on extended benefits to attorneys who represent children in juvenile court in San Francisco on March 21. The training is part of the Alphabet Soup series that the Youth Law Center, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Bay […]

Institutional Care for Young Children Article

Carole Shauffer is one of the authors of the article Institutional Care for Young Children: Review of Literature and Policy Implications, that appears in the March 2012 issue of Social Issues and Policy Review. The other authors are Mary Dozier, Charles H. Zeanah, and Allison R. Wallin. Here is an abstract of the article: Millions […]

YLC One of Alphabet Soup Series Trainers

The Youth Law Center, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Bay Area Legal Aid provided training on extended foster care benefits to attorneys who represent children in juvenile court in San Francisco on February 15. The training is part of the Alphabet Soup series that YLC, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Bay Area Legal […]

NATIONAL: States Change How They Recruit Foster Parents

By Kelli Kennedy  |  AP  —   MIAMI (AP) – For decades, it was common for officials around the country to approve foster parents by room and board criteria: Did they pass a background check? Is their home clean? Are their dogs safe and vaccinated? Now several states including Florida, California and Wisconsin, are trying to find ones who […]

YLC Opposed Realignment of HCPCFC

The Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care will be removed from the list of California programs to be realigned to the counties under an agreement between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the County Welfare Directors Association. The Youth Law Center opposed realignment of the program, which provides public health nurses […]

YLC Taps Jennifer Rodriguez for Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 25, 2012 OUTGOING DIRECTOR CAROLE SHAUFFER WILL CONTINUE TO SPEARHEAD YLC’S STRATEGIC INITIATIVES The Youth Law Center (YLC), a public interest law firm that protects children in the nation’s foster care and juvenile justice systems, has tapped YLC attorney Jennifer Rodriguez to serve as the firm’s Executive Director. Rodriguez will be […]

States Change How They Recruit Foster Parents

By Kelli Kennedy  |  The Miami Herald  —   For decades, it was common for officials around the country to approve foster parents by room and board criteria: Did they pass a background check? Is their home clean? Are their dogs safe and vaccinated? Now several states including Florida, California and Wisconsin are trying to find ones who they […]

YLC at Beyond the Bench

Youth Law Center attorneys Alice Bussiere, Jennifer Rodriguez and Sue Burrell spoke at the statewide Beyond the Bench Conference held December 14-16, 2011 in San Francisco, sponsored by the Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families, Children and the Courts. This year’s conference was the 21st Beyond the Bench, and […]

Youth Law Center Honors Unsung Heroes

San Francisco, California — The Youth Law Center announced today that it will give its highest honor to four leading individuals from around the country for their extraordinary contributions to improve the lives of children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. The Youth Law Center will award a prestigious “Loren Warboys […]

Zeanah Shauffer Dozier Article Just Published

The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has just published an article entitled, Foster Care for Young Children: Why It Must Be Developmentally Informed, in their December issue. It was written by Youth Law Center’s Executive Director, Carole Shauffer, Dr. Charles H. Zeanah with the Institute of Infant and Early Childhood […]

Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes 2011

Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This year’s awardees are: Cassandra Gonzalez Cassandra Gonzalez is the mother of two beautiful little girls and a community activist/youth […]

YLC – One of the Top Nonprofits Working with At-Risk Youth

The Huffington Post published an article today called “Who’s rescuing foster kids, runaways, and high school dropouts?” and the Youth Law Center is listed because it has been identified as one of the top nonprofits working with at-risk youth in the U.S. You can check out the slideshow here: Slideshow .

Sue Burrell Presents at NJDC Leadership Summit

On October 21, 2011, Youth Law Center Staff Attorney Sue Burrell co-presented “An Underutilized Tool for Change: Making Public Record & FOIA Requests,” at the National Juvenile Defender Center Leadership Summit in Seattle, Washington. With Brad Peterson from North Dakota, and Julie Valencia from Washington, Sue spoke about the mechanics and strategies involved in seeking […]

Recent Legislation Supported by YLC

Governor Brown signed a number of bills this month that we supported and will help children and youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Here’s a list of the bills, now law: AB 9 – Bullying AB 212 – AB 12 cleanup AB 735 – Priority in state internships for former dependent foster […]

YLC Identified as High Impact Nonprofit Working with Kids

The Youth Law Center was recently identified as 1 of 9 high-impact nonprofits working with at-risk youth by 88 experts. As a result, Philanthropedia is highlighting the Youth Law Center on its website as well as on GuideStar Take Action’s website. Philanthropedia is an online resource for donors who want to make a bigger difference […]

Alice Bussiere’s Article on Adoption Assistance

“Adoption Assistance: An Introduction” by Alice Bussiere has been published in the July-August 2011 issue of Clearinghouse Review. Adoption assistance programs provide crucial support for families adopting children with special needs. However, such federal and state programs can be difficult for both parents and their advocates to navigate. Adoption advocates need to familiarize themselves with […]

Congregate Care Substantially Reduced in Connecticut

Since 2009, the Youth Law Center has been working with Connecticut advocates to reduce group care, particularly for young children under the age of six, using research about the negative effects that group care can have on young children to advocate for change. The Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) issued a report on […]

Foster Children Routinely Housed in Office Waiting Room

By Garrett Therolf  |  Los Angeles Times  — Supervising Social Worker Lincoln Saul says Department of Children and Family Services officials have grown defensive about their inability to cope with the problem and take steps to hide it. The agency’s acting deputy director denies Saul’s allegations. A Los Angeles County social worker has accused his managers of routinely […]

YLC Joined Other Advocates in Health Care Reform Report

In an effort to ensure that children receive the health care they need, the Youth Law Center joined the Western Center on Law and Poverty and other advocates to develop Creating California’s “No Wrong Door” for Health Coverage: Recommendations from Consumer Advocates, a paper that offers recommendations for fulfilling the promise of health care reform […]

Foster Connections Article Update

The Clearinghouse Review has published an update on The Fostering Connections Act written by YLC staff attorneys Jennifer Rodriguez and Alice Bussiere with Jennifer Pokempner, a supervising attorney at the Juvenile Law Center. The News and Notes item, available at 44 Clearinghouse Review 582-584 (March-April 2011), discusses policy guidance on the extension of foster care […]

Caseworkers Dispirited Over Charges in Girl’s Death

By Cara Buckley and Mosi Secret  |  The New York Times  —   The faces looked commanding, soulful and, above all, streetwise, as they began staring out at New Yorkers three years ago from posters blanketing subway cars. The intent was to recruit top-flight talent to the city’s beleaguered Administration of Children’s Services after the death of 7-year-old Nixzmary […]

Unclear Oversight Yields Repeated Violations at Youth Home

Unclear Oversight Yields Repeated Violations at Home for Troubled Youth By Trey Bundy  |  The New York Times  — In Alameda County, there is just one emergency group-home shelter for emotionally disturbed teenagers. It is called Refuge, for Resource Environment for Underprivileged Groups Enterprise Inc., but according to state documents and former employees, it is anything but a […]

Foster Care Benefits Listserv for Advocates and Attorneys

YLC has launched a foster care benefits listserv in collaboration with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Bay Area Legal Aid, and the Benchmark Institute. The focus of the Listserv is benefits for children involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice system, including not only cash benefits like AFDC-FC (foster Care benefits), Adoption Assistance Payments […]

YLC, BALA and ACR Provide Alphabet Soup Training

YLC provided training on benefits for children in foster care to foster and adoptive parents and attorneys who represent children in juvenile court. The training, known as Alphabet Soup, conducted with Bay Area Legal Aid and the Alliance for Children’s Rights, was provided at the Family Resource Network in Oakland on February 9 and at […]

Nebraska Legislation Based on Report Co-Authored by YLC

Nebraska Sen. Mark Christensen introduced a bill in the state legislature on January 19, 2011, that would require its Judiciary Committee to develop requirements for attorneys for children in dependency court, and to consider the recommendations made in a report co-authored by the Youth Law Center. The report and study, Evaluation of the Guardian ad […]

Article About Rhode Island’s Children Shelters

Carole Shauffer is quoted in an article about Rhode Island’s children shelters. Here is the quote: “The length of the stay worries Carole B. Shauffer, executive director of the Youth Law Center, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, which has sued California for overusing shelters for children age 6 and under. No matter how well […]

R.I. Children’s Shelters Get Short Reprieve from Budget Ax

By Lynn Arditi, Journal Staff Writer  |  The Providence Journal  —   He arrived at the Washington Park Children’s Shelter shortly before midnight, coughing and wheezy, his buttocks raw from diaper rash. Nearly 14 months old, he hadn’t yet learned to walk and moved on his hands and feet like a spider. For his first meal at the children’s […]

Local Youth Advocate Wins National ‘Unsung Hero’ Award

By Donna Tam  |  The Times-Standard  —   When Rochelle Trochtenberg criticized the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Service’s approach to group homes two years ago, she didn’t know she would end up being employed by the department. A former foster youth, Trochtenberg felt compelled to voice her opinion about the group home system at a July […]

Jennifer Rodriguez Quoted in Article about 2010 Unsung Hero

The Times-Standard in Eureka published an article about one of the 2010 Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes, Rochelle Trochtenberg, a lead organizer of the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration (HCTAYC). Jennifer Rodriguez, YLC Staff Attorney, is quoted as saying “Trochtenberg is an example of how youth can help change the system when they are given […]

Shauffer Quoted in Article Re Ouster of LA DCFS’ Director

Carole Shauffer, YLC Executive Director, was quoted in an article in the Los Angeles Times about the ouster of Trish Ploehn, who was the director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services. Download article.

County Ousts Child Agency Chief

By Garrett Therolf  |  Los Angeles Times  —   Trish Ploehn, the embattled director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services, was removed Monday and is expected to be replaced for now by a top county official who wrote a recent report which found the agency to be in “crisis.”. Antonia Jimenez, a top aide to […]

2010 Loren Warboys’ Unsung Heroes

Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This year’s awardees are PAOLO ANNINO Paolo Annino is a clinical law professor at Florida State University College of Law […]

Deaths from Abuse and Neglect Increase among Children. . .

Deaths from Abuse and Neglect Increase among Children under L.A. County Oversight By Garrett Therolf  |  Los Angeles Times  — More children have died in each of the last two years from abuse or neglect after being under the eye of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services despite assurances by county officials that the problem […]

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs A.B. 12

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 30, 2010 Contact: Aaron McLear Rachel Arrezola 916-445-4571 Gov. Schwarzenegger Takes Action to Extend Foster Care Benefits to Age 21, Improve California’s Foster Care System Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced he has signed legislation to improve the lives of children and youth in California’s foster care system including […]

Carole Shauffer Quoted in Article Re Lack of Foster Homes

The Connecticut Mirror printed an article today about a new report by the Connecticut Voices for Children. The report says that hundreds of foster children continue to be placed into costly congregate homes instead of family settings because of a lack in foster homes. Carole Shauffer is quoted as saying that other states, including Maryland, […]

State Still Lacks Foster Homes

By Jacqueline Rabe  |  The Connecticutt Mirror  —   Despite efforts to reverse the trend, hundreds of foster children continue to be funneled into costly congregate homes instead of being placed in family settings, a new report says. About a quarter of some 4,000 abused or neglected children in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families […]

Jennifer Rodriguez Presents Florida Summit Keynote Address

On August 25, YLC Staff Attorney Jennifer Rodriguez delivered the keynote address for the 12th annual Florida Dependency Summit, an event that united 2000 child protective investigators, community-based care staff, foster parents, judges, attorneys, medical and mental health providers, child advocates, law enforcement, education and legal experts to discuss ways to improve Florida’s foster care […]

CDSS to Provide County Probation Access to CWS/CMS

Tuesday Morning  — Effective October 1, 2010, county probation departments will be able to have access to the County Welfare Services/Child Management System (CWS/CMS) database, the statewide system used for reporting case data on children in the Child Welfare System to provide policy makers with information. Probation departments will be the first entities other than public […]

YLC Participation in ABA Presidential Showcase

Staff Attorney Corene Kendrick and Board Member Michael Dale were among the speakers participating in a Presidential Showcase presentation on August 5, 2010, at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco. The panel, “Enforcing a Right to Counsel for Children: The Time is Now” explored the role that a lawyer should play for […]

Oral Argument in Leonard v. Wagner

The California Court of Appeal (1st DCA) has scheduled oral argument in Leonard v. Wagner for August 9. The case concerns foster care funding for youth with disabilities who turn 18. California provides foster care benefits to age 19 for youth in foster care who are still in high school or an equivalent program but […]

Two Recently Released Juvenile Justice Publications

Locked Up and Out – Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual, & Transgender – Youth in Louisiana’s Juvenile Justice System (2010) By Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana This report addresses how LGBT youth are funneled into the deep end of the juvenile justice system, the particular challenges that they face once there, and the lack of resources available specific to […]

Victory in the First Circuit: Sam and Tony M. v. Carcieri!

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (which included Justice Souter sitting by courtesy) ruled in favor of the foster youth in Sam and Tony M. v. Carcieri, a class action suit against Rhode Island, seeking to reform the state’s foster care system. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s holding […]

Jennifer Rodriguez at Foster Care Education Symposium

YLC staff Attorney Jennifer Rodriguez presented on California’s policy efforts to improve education outcomes for youth placed in foster care at a symposium held by Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform in Washington, D.C. The symposium was centered on the release of a paper, “Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and […]

Don’t Neglect our Foster Children

By Chronicle Editorial  |  San Francisco Chronicle  —   The last two years have brought a tremendous amount of pain to all of those who depend on government services, and California’s foster children are no exception. Last year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used his line-item veto power to cut $80 million in funding for Child Welfare Services. His staff insists […]

Gerald Singleton Joins YLC’s Board

The Youth Law Center is pleased to announce that Gerald Singleton has joined our board. Mr. Singleton’s law firm litigates personal injury, civil rights, criminal and medical marijuana cases in state and federal courts and is currently part of a group of three law firms representing over 1100 clients in suits against SDG&E stemming from […]

Jennifer Rodriguez Testifies at Senate Budget Subcommittee

YLC staff attorney Jennifer Rodriguez testified on a panel at the April 22, 2010, California Senate Budget Subcommittee hearing on Child Welfare Services. YLC’s testimony focused on the need to restore the $133 million veto to Child Welfare Services in order to ensure that vulnerable children in foster care are not further abused and neglected […]

YLC Working with Foster Youth Services

On April 19th, Jennifer Rodriguez, YLC Staff Attorney, facilitated a discussion with Northern California Foster Youth Services Coordinators on developing local collaborations to serve infants, toddlers and preschoolers in foster care. FYS coordinators identified a number of action steps such as: connecting with local Early Head Start/Head Start providers to educate them on how to […]

YLC, CYC and Foster CAre Ombudsman Trains Licensing

On April 14th, Jennifer Rodriguez, YLC Staff Attorney and Damon King, YLC Skadden Fellow presented a training with the California Youth Connection and the Foster Care Ombudsman’s Office to the California Community Care Licensing Division Children’s Residential Licensing Program Analysts. These CCLD staff investigate complaints about group homes and are critical to YLC’s efforts to […]

New YTFG Publication!

In an effort to strengthen philanthropic investments among its membership, the Youth Transition Funders Group (YTFG) asked a group of policy experts to provide recommendations on how foundations can work to encourage effective policy solutions on issues affecting youth in transition to adulthood. The issue brief, Connected by 25: Effective Policy Solutions for Vulnerable Youth, […]

Sue Burrell Speaker at Mental Health Conference

YLC Staff Attorney Sue Burrell was an invited speaker at the Forensic Mental Health Association of California’s annual conference held March 24-26, 2010, in Seaside, California. The group brings together judges, lawyers, court experts and staff from forensic mental health programs around the state to focus on legal and policy issues relating to mental health. […]

All Florida’s Abused Kids Deserve Lawyers

By Michael J. Dale and Louis M. Reidenberg  |  Sun Sentinel  —   It is truly a sad day for Florida’s abused and neglected children. Unlike children in 38 states, Florida’s children have no right to a free lawyer to represent them in abuse and neglect cases, even though by law, they are parties to the case. A bill, […]

Sue Burrell at the National Symposium on Indigent Defense

YLC Staff Attorney Sue Burrell was among the invited guests at the Department of Justice National Symposium on Indigent Defense, held February 18-19, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The Symposium was moderated by Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard University, and the program included a keynote speech by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The Symposium was designed […]

YLC Staff Attorney Jennifer Rodriguez to Host Webinar

By Jennifer Rodriguez  | YLC Staff Attorney Jennifer Rodriguez will be facilitating a webinar on Improving Outcomes for Infants and Toddlers in Foster Care on February 25, 2009 from 10:00-11:30. The webinar is being hosted by the California Foster Youth Education and Career Network. For more information on the webinar, click below: Download Flyer

PERSPECTIVE: Juvenile Defense Attorneys Speak Out

By Sue Burrell  |  Daily Journal  —  The first part of this article explored the special skills and training needed to represent young people in California juvenile delinquency cases, and the reasons competent representation is so critical. In 2009, a statewide survey of juvenile defense counsel conducted by the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center revealed serious deficiencies in training among […]

Evaluation of the Guardian Ad Litem System in Nebraska

A report assessing Nebraska’s system of child representation was released on January 9, 2010. The report was conducted by the National Association of Counsel for Children, Suffolk University law professor Erik Pitchal, child welfare expert Madelyn Freundlich, and Youth Law Center Staff Attorney Corene Kendrick. The report documents that Nebraska’s current structure for providing GAL […]

All County Letter Re Notification to Relatives

The California Department of Social Services has issued an All County Letter (ACL) 09-86 concerning relative notification procedures required by AB 938, which YLC supported. ACL 09-86 advises counties of the requirements of AB 938 and P.L. 110-351, the federal Fostering Connections and Improving Adoptions Act, to provide notification to relatives of children being placed […]

Letter to the NY Times – A Look at Children and Orphanages

By Joan Kaufman, Mary Dozier and Carole Shauffer  |  New York Times  — To the Editor: Re “Study Suggests Orphanages Are Not So Bad” (news article, Dec. 18): The article describing the study of 6- to 12-year-olds suggested that orphanages are not so bad. As the authors of the study noted, institutional care is detrimental for infants and […]

Loren Warboys’ Unsung Heroes 2009

Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This year’s awardees are RACHEL BARR Rachel Barr received her Clinical Diploma and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with Harlene […]

YLC Participated in Traveling Training

YLC participated in the Traveling Training for legal services advocates sponsored by the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) in Fresno, California on November 17, 2009. LAAC developed the Traveling Training series to meet training needs identified at a 2001 meeting of California legal services advocates. The goal is to bring high-quality substantive trainings advocates […]

Alphabet Soup Trainings

YLC provided training on benefits available for children in out-of-home care on November 6 in San Francisco and November 9 in San Jose. Legal Services for Children hosted the San Francisco training for its staff and staff from the Juvenile Court Division of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. Legal Advocates for Children and Youth […]

YLC Part of Review Team

YLC is working with consultants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) to conduct a follow-up review of child abuse and neglect policies, protocols, and practices for the Denver Department of Human Services. In 2008, AECF and the Child Welfare League of America completed a third party review at the request of DDHS, which resulted […]

Corene Kendrick Receives Miles Rubin Public Interest Award

The Youth Law Center is pleased to announe that Corene Kendrick is the 2009 Miles Rubin Public Interest Award Recipient from Stanford Law School. Corene will be honored at the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law Annual Public Service Awards Dinner on Monday, November 2, 2009, along with Debo […]

Letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow

The Youth Law Center joined with over 35 national child welfare and mental organizations to thank Senator Debbie Stabenow for introducing an amendment to ensure that Medicaid coverage includes Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC.) TFC provides medically necessary, cost effective services to at least 50,000 children with severe mental and behavioral health needs in a community-based […]

Marquez v Calif. Dept. of Health Care Services – Filed

The Youth Law Center, along with other legal advocates, have filed a lawsuit challenging California Medi-Cal policies that deny necessary medical care to children who have other health care coverage (OHC) when the other coverage does not provide the health care services the child needs. Medi-Cal policy requires individuals to use other available health care […]

Fostering Connections to Success

By Alice Bussiere, Jennifer Pokempner, Jennifer Rodriguez  | YLC staff attorneys Jennifer Rodriguez and Alice Bussiere co-authored an article with Juvenile Law Center Attorney Jennifer Pokempner, entitled “Fostering Connections to Success: Extending a Social Safety Net for Youths Facing Homelessness and Poverty.”  The article discusses provisions of a new federal law that affect older youth in […]

YLC Works on Sam M. v. Carcieri Amicus Brief

The Youth Law Center joined fourteen other children’s advocacy organizations in an amicus brief filed with the First Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Sam M. v. Carcieri.  The amicus brief was filed by Suffolk University Professor Erik Pitchal on behalf of the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) and the other […]

Evaluation of GALs in Nebraska

YLC Staff Attorney Corene Kendrick is working with Madelyn Freundlich, Senior Child Welfare Consultant at Excal Consulting Partners, and the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) on an evaluation and analysis of the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) system in Nebraska.  GALs are attorneys who represent abused and neglected children in dependency proceedings. The evaluation […]

Damon King, Skadden Fellow to Begin Work at YLC

Damon King, our Skadden Fellow, will begin work here on September 14th.  His project is to enforce the rights of children in California’s group homes through direct representation, legal support to court-appointed attorneys, and collaboration with state agencies to resolve facility licensing violations.  The goal of his project is to reduce the frequency of group […]

Nicole M. Lewis Joins the YLC Board of Directors

The Youth Law Center is happy to announce that Nicole M. Lewis has just joined our board.  Ms. Lewis is vice president of global marketing for Kelly Services, Inc., a world leader in human resources solutions. She is charged with the development of new products, as well as, the marketing strategies for Kelly’s global client […]

Press Release re Alejo v. O’Connell

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Programs for Homeless, Neglected, Migrant, English Learners and Other “At Risk” Students Concerned parents and community groups throughout California filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court today challenging State Superintendent Jack O’Connell’s decision to suspend monitoring of specialized education programs for Homeless, Neglected, Juvenile Justice, Migrant, English learners, and other disadvantaged […]

CMS Acts to Withdraw Harmful Medicaid Rules

 In December 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued rules that would have restricted Medicaid funding for case management services for children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  Case management services are particularly important for children with complex medical and mental health needs.  The Youth Law Center opposed these changes […]

No Discrimination Against Foster Children with Disabilities

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch ruled on June 4th that California state foster care officials must comply with state and federal disability laws in the AFDC-FC program, which provides support for children in foster care.  The ruling came in Leonard v. Wagner, a case filed in California state court in July 2007 by the Public […]

Corene Kendrick on ABC Channel 7 May 10, 2009

Corene Kendrick will be on “Beyond the Headlines” at 10:00 a.m. this Sunday, May 10th, on ABC Channel 7 to talk about A.B. 12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, and transition-aged foster youth.

YLC Supporting AB 154, AB 47 and SB114

Additional child welfare bills that the Youth Law Center is supporting are AB 154 that will inform adoptive parents about the availability of the federal and state adoption tax credits; Assembly Bill 47 that will adjust a tax credit that is currently available to offset the cost of adoption of older foster youth or youth who were […]

YLC Co-Sponsoring AB 12

YLC is co-sponsoring AB 12, which will extend foster care benefits to youth after the age of 18 and allow California to participate in the federal Kinship Guardianship Assistance program.  AB 12 has broad support, with 37 co-authors, and 8 co-sponsors including: the California Alliance of Child & Family Services, the California Youth Connection, the […]

YLC Supporting AB 938

YLC is supporting AB 938, which provides for early identification and notification of relatives of children who have removed from home because of abuse or neglect.  AB 938 also implements a recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care to insure that all parties in juvenile court proceedings have a meaningful opportunity […]

Santa Clara County Jails Youngest Child Ever

By Karen de Sa  |  Mercury News  —   One of the youngest children ever to be locked up in Santa Clara County spent five days in juvenile hall late last month, the Mercury News has learned, an unusual detention of a 10-year-old that has top officials scrambling to correct a case they describe as deeply disturbing. "In hindsight, […]

Governor Schwarzenegger’s Support of AB 12

In his March 9, 2009, press conference, Governor Schwarzenegger issued a statement of support for A.B. 12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, co-sponsored by the Youth Law Center: “I am committed to working with Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg on a bipartisan solution that ensures our children and […]

John and Marcia Goldman Foundation Grant

The John and Marcia Goldman Foundation has awarded the Youth Law Center and the Santa Clara University Law School a grant for leadership training.  The Youth Law Center will provide training and supervision to two to four Santa Clara University law students for ten weeks full-time this summer followed by part-time work during the academic […]

Santa Cruz Kicks Off Participation in YLC Birth to Six Initiative

The Youth Law Center assisted Santa Cruz County in hosting an event on February 4th to educate and involve the community in their new department initiatives to improve the lives of children in foster care, including participation as the newest YLC Birth to Six Initiative and Family to Family site.  Approximately 175 attendees, including foster parents, […]

California Working Families Policy Summit January 13, 2009

The Youth Law Center is co-sponsor of the 2009 California Working Families Policy Summit to be held January 13 at the Sacramento Convention Center.  Organized by The California Center for Research on Women and Families, the Summit is expected to bring together over 700 policymakers and advocates to address high priority policy issues for California […]

SB 1147 Signed

This week, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law S.B. 1147 – Medi-Cal for Juveniles.  As a result of this bill, Medi-Cal children being released from public institutions will no longer be faced with re-applying for benefits.  Their benefits will be suspended when they go into custody, so services can be accessed immediately when children are no […]

YLC Assists Florida in Foster Home Recruitment and Retention

As part of our project to improve the recruitment and retention of Florida foster families, the Youth Law Center is conducting on-site assessments this week at three Florida community-based care lead agencies, CBC of Seminole, Hillsborough Kids, and Big Bend Community Based Care. The goal is to improve recruitment and retention of quality foster families […]

Corene Kendrick on NACC Conference Panel

On Monday, August 4, 2008, Corene Kendrick, YLC Staff Attorney, took part in a panel training entitled “Collaborative Advocacy: How Attorneys Can Put Words Into Action for System Reform at the annual conference of the National Association of Counsel for Children in Savannah Georgia. The panel was attended by over a hundred attorneys.

Oregonian Article re Oregon Adoption Assistance Lawsuit

An Overdue Settlement – The State Rightfully Agrees to Pay $ 1.7 Million to Families of Former Foster Children The Oregonian  — In February 2003, during the darkest days of Oregon’s budget crisis, forced school closures got the state some negative national publicity in the comic strip “Doonesbury.” That same month, however, schoolchildren weren’t the only […]

Settlement to Repay Adoptive Families

By Karen McCowan  |  Register-Guard  —  The state of Oregon has agreed to pay a combined $1.7 million to thousands of families who adopted Oregon foster children and then saw their promised state assistance abruptly reduced during a 2003 state budget shortfall. The payments to the families of more than 6,688 former foster children are part of a class […]

ASW v. Oregon Settles

The Youth Law Center has settled A.S.W. v. Oregon (aka A.S.W. v. Mink), an Adoption Assistance Program (“AAP”)class action lawsuit filed on behalf of families in Oregon who adopted children from the foster care system and had their AAP payments illegally cut by the state. The law firm of Johnson, Clifton, Larson & Schaller of […]

Boy’s Abuse Was No Secret

By Ari B. Bllomekatz  |  Los Angeles Times  —  Friends and family say they suspected that Starkeisha Brown beat her 5-year-old son — but nobody called authorities. Such inaction has its roots in distrust of police and child-protection workers. In Starkeisha Brown’s small circle of South Los Angeles, it was no secret that her 5-year-old son was the victim […]

Corene Kendrick on Commonwealth Club Panel

Corene Kendrick will be one of the panelists on the Commonwealth Club’s panel, “Fostering California’s Future:  Mental Health Care Changes”.  The presentaion is on June 23, 2008.  

Youth Law Center Profiled in Final Haigh-Scatena Report

The Youth Law Center is one of the grantees profiled in the final Haigh-Scatena Foundation report, "40 Years of Funding Social Change."  The report captures the essence of what the Haigh-Scatena Foundation was trying to achieve through grants in the last forty years.

Fresno Birth to 6 Initiative Kick Off

Fresno is the third site to partner with the Youth Law Center to work toward improving the lives of very young children in foster care.  The Fresno Birth to Six Initiative Kick-Off occurred  on March 28 with over 100 social workers and their community partners attending.  See http://fresnobirthto6.blogspot.com/.

Two New Sites Are Beginning their Infancy Programs

San Francisco and Fresno Counties join Detroit, Michigan to ensure that child welfare serves young children in a manner and with services appropriate to meet their special developmental needs. San Francisco had their kickoff meeting in February and Fresno will have theirs in March.    

DCF has the will, but needs the tools

Miami Herald  —   A headline in the Jan. 19 Metro Section — Report: Abuse workers in Miami overloaded — may explain the ''why'' behind a Jan. 22 headline in the same section — Report: DCF inept in handling 2 rape cases. The first article cited a new report that specified problems in child protection provided by […]

DCF abuse investigators overloaded, report finds

By CAROL MARBIN MILLER  |  Miami Herald  —   A new report on Miami-Dade's troubled child welfare program finds child abuse investigators are dedicated but overworked and insufficiently trained. Miami child abuse investigators who juggle as many as 40 new cases a month — more than double the national standard — are poorly trained, don't have enough Spanish and […]

Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes 2007

Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero Award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  This year’s awardees are: RON CLEMENT Ron Clement was the CEO and sole staff of the “spent-out” and recently dissolved […]

2007 KIDS COUNT Data Book Now Available

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 18th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book is now available. The annual Data Book is a national and state-by-state profile of the well-being of America’s children that seeks to enrich discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all kids. The Data Book ranks states on 10 key measures and provides […]

The Incompletion Rule

San Francisco Chronicle  — JOSHUA LEONARD, executive director of an East Bay nonprofit agency that serves foster children, has filed a lawsuit alleging that California discriminates against foster children with disabilities. The current “completion rule” states that foster children who have not completed high school by the age of 18, but have a strong possibility of […]

Foster Care Policy Unfair, Groups Say

By Alexa Hyland  |  Daily Journal  —   Three nonprofit advocacy groups are claiming the California Department of Social Services' policy requiring foster children to show whether they will complete their high school education by age 19 violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and state anti-disability laws. The Public Interest Law Project of Oakland, Youth Law Center in San […]

Article re Leonard v. Wagner

Suit Demands California Stop Forcing Children with Disabilities Out of Foster Care at Age 18 (San Francisco, CA – July 25, 2007) – A lawsuit filed in state court today in San Francisco charges state officials with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and state anti-disability laws by refusing to allow foster children with disabilities […]

California Foster Children with Disabilities Lawsuit

Legal action taken against the California Department of Social Services by three nonprofit advocacy groups. (San Francisco, CA – July 25, 2007) – A lawsuit filed in state court today in San Francisco charges state officials  with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and state anti-disability laws by refusing to allow foster children with disabilities […]

Article re Clark County Child Welfare System

Outlook Improves for Child Welfare System Overload in Child Welfare Has a Brutal Backlash. By Lisa Kim Bach  |  Las Vegas Review-Journal  — Infants born exposed to illegal drugs begin stacking up in local hospital nurseries when Clark County runs out of foster homes and shelter space. Juvenile victims of neglect end up sleeping on cots in Child […]

Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes 2006

Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This year’s awardees are EIDE ALAWANEide Alawan has spent his life doing interfaith activities and explaining Islam to the American […]

Article Re State Judge Rules Against Florida DCF

State Judge Rules Against Florida Department of Children and Families and in Favor of Foster Children Who Lived in Office Conference Rooms (Tallahassee, FL – November 9, 2006) – State Circuit Judge Janet Ferris has issued a permanent order on behalf of foster children in the Florida Panhandle area in a lawsuit against the Florida […]

YLC’s AAP Victory in Ninth Circuit Upheld by Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court has denied Oregon’s Petition for Certiorari to overturn the Youth Law Center’s Ninth Circuit victory in ASW v Oregon. The case was filed on behalf of families who have adopted children from Oregon’s foster care system and had their adoption assistance program (AAP) benefits unilaterally reduced by the State in […]

Partial Settlement in Florida Shelter Care Lawsuit

Youth Law Center announces the partial settlement of Susan C. et al. v. Department of Children and Family Services, et al., our case in Tallahassee, Florida, regarding the practice of DCF and its private contractor to make foster children live in a DCF conference room for days, and sometimes weeks, upon end. The private contractor, […]

Florida Judge Grants Temporary Injunction

Contact: Paolo Annino, 850-644-9930Carole Shauffer, 415-320-2147 Michael Dale, 954-262-6159 State Judge Grants Temporary Injunction Ordering Florida Department of Children & Family Services and Private Contractor to Immediately Stop Sending Foster Children to Live in Office Conference Rooms (Tallahassee, FL – April 13, 2006) – Circuit Court Judge Janet Ferris today issued a temporary injunction ordering […]

Lawsuit Filed Against Florida DCFS and Big Bend

Legal Action Taken Against the Florida Department of Children and Family Services and Private Contractor Big Bend Community Based Care. (Tallahassee, FL – April 4, 2006) – A class action lawsuit filed in Florida state court today charges the Department of Children and Family Services (“DCF”) and a private contract foster care agency, Big Bend […]

Class Action Lawsuit Filed for N. Florida Foster Children

Legal action taken against  the Florida Department of Children and Family Services and private contractor Big Bend Community Based Care. (Tallahassee, FL – April 4, 2006) – A class action lawsuit filed in Florida state court today charges the Department of Children and Family Services (“DCF”) and a private contract foster care agency, Big Bend […]

YLC Hires Two Staff Attorneys For San Francisco Office

Profiles of the new staff attorneys: Corene Kendrick Corene Kendrick joined the Youth Law Center in October 2005 as a Staff Attorney. Before joining the Youth Law Center, she was a Skadden Fellow Staff Attorney at Children’s Rights in New York, where her Skadden fellowship project focused on articulating legal strategies to fight the growing […]

YLC Wins Oregon AAP Appeal

The Youth Law Center has won its appeal of a district court’s dismissal of our Adoption Assistance Program (“AAP”) lawsuit on behalf of families in Oregon who have adopted children from the foster care system. A.S.W. v. Oregon (aka A.S.W. v. Mink), challenges Oregon’s across-the-board “budgetary” reduction in AAP payments for every adoptive family receiving […]

Loren Warboys Unsung Heroes 2005

Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This year’s awardees are: REVEREND NORMAN COPELANDReverend Copeland is the Presiding Elder of the Southern California Los Angeles District of […]