Youth Law Center’s Mission:
The Youth Law Center advocates to transform foster care and juvenile justice systems across the nation so every child and youth can thrive.
For 40 years, YLC has worked to transform the juvenile justice and child welfare systems across the nation so every child and youth can thrive. YLC employs multiple strategies, including litigation; legislation and policy reform; training and technical assistance for youth, families, advocates and public systems; leadership and public education; and model program development. Every child deserves family, community, a childhood, and the supports they need to grow up healthy and happy. Fair, humane and just treatment of children and youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system requires advocacy that goes beyond ending harmful practice and dangerous conditions.
Our team at YLC reflects the diverse experience and skills we need to be successful in our advocacy. Our team’s backgrounds include: lawyers, former system involved youth, foster and adoptive parents, former California child welfare agency directors, a former juvenile court judge, former agency staff and former social workers and is governed by an active 13-member Board of Directors. Our Board serves as a thought partner in our work and is comprised of attorneys, innovators, and field leaders who provide guidance on governance, strategy and innovation.
YLC is committed to leadership by those who are directly impacted by our advocacy efforts. Our Executive Director is a woman of color and both she and our Board President bring a deep commitment to leadership by those who are directly impacted by our advocacy efforts, based on both of their lived experience in foster care and juvenile justice systems. Approximately 30% of YLC’s advocacy team have lived experience as former system- involved youth, foster and birth parents.
YLC’s Executive Director, Jennifer Rodriguez, is available for press and media interviews. Click here to read Jennifer’s bio.