Fact Sheet: Transitional Housing Placement for Non-Minor Dependents (THP-NMD)

The Transitional Housing Placement program for Non-Minor Dependents (THP-NMD) is a transitional housing placement for nonminor dependents (NMDs), ages 18 to 21. THP-NMD programs offer supervised, transitional housing services to nonminor dependent foster youth under the supervision of the county welfare department or the juvenile probation department. A transitional housing provider can serve youth ages […]

Fact Sheet: Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THP-Plus)

Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THP-Plus) is a transitional housing program designed to provide housing and supportive transitional services to former foster youth who are 18 to 24 years of age (or up to age 25 in some cases), including youth who were placed in foster care by juvenile probation. The dual components of THP-Plus include (1) […]

Fact Sheet: Transitional Housing Placement for Minors (THP-M)

The Transitional Housing Placement Program for Minors (THP-M) is a transitional housing placement for youth in foster care ages 16 to 18. The THP-M program offers supervised, transitional housing services to foster youth under the supervision of the county welfare department or the juvenile probation department. A transitional housing provider can serve youth ages 16 […]

FFPSA Implementation Trailer Bill Narrative

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.

Child Welfare Advocates COVID-19 Response Letter

The Youth Law Center joins a coalition of child welfare advocates in requesting Governor Newsom and the California State Legislature take immediate actions to protect the health and well-being of California’s children and youth in foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fellow advocates include: John Burton Advocates for Youth, California Alliance of Caregivers, Alliance for […]

Legal Rights of Teens in Out of Home Care (2014)

This booklet, based on California law, covers some of the concerns of a youth in out-of-home care, including types of placements, guardianship, independent living, role of the courts, visitation, confidentiality, pregnancy, money, religion, driving, emancipation and rights and responsibilities of youth in out-of-home care, group or foster homes

AB 388 Chaptered Text

Text of AB 388, bill 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 the come into contact with the delinquency system.

Institutional Care for Young Children: Review of Literature and Policy Implications

By Mary Dozier, Charles H. Zeanah, Allison R. Wallin, and Carole Shauffer Social Issues and Policy Review Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 1–25, March 2012 Millions of infants and toddlers are in institutional care around the world, care that is poorly suited to meet young children’s developmental needs. In this article, the authors briefly review […]

Youth Participation in Court Hearings

In recent years, courts and child welfare systems around the country have recognized the importance of permanency for all foster children, including older youth, and of youth participation in decisions that affect their lives. Juvenile court officials and experts have consistently recommended that youth be present in court for permanency planning and other hearings; actively […]

The Development of Adoption Law

This article will provide a short history of the law of adoption and a brief introduction to some of the more controversial legal issues involved in the adoption of children in the United States today. Its purpose is not to discuss fully all of the legal issues that may arise in adoption, but rather to […]

Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Amendment re TFC

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 […]

Thank You Letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow Re Medicaid Coverage Amendment

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 […]

YLC Letter to Commissioner Susan Hamilton re Congregate Care for Young Children

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 Care for Young Children, Why It Must Be Developmentally Informed

The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry published this 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 Mental Health, […]

Adoption Assistance: An Introduction – Clearinghouse Review Article

“Adoption Assistance: An Introduction” by Alice Bussiere has been published in the July-August, 2011 issue of Clearinghouse Review. Bussiere writes that 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 […]

QPI Process Chart

This chart describes what will be covered at each QPI meeting, who is to attend and what are the resources at each.

All County Letter re Caregiver Recruitment and Retention Pilot

The purpose of this All County Information Notice (ACIN) is to provide information regarding the opportunity to participate as a pilot site for a Caregiver Recruitment and Retention Pilot project and information on an upcoming meeting for interested counties. The pilot is a collaborative effort between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Youth Law […]

Wheeler v. Sanders Joint Stipulation for Dismissal

Filed in December 2003, Wheeler v. Sanders alleged that Los Angeles County violated state and federal requirements designed to ensure children are safe because the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services failed to approve relative foster homes according to legal standards and to assist relatives in meeting basic health and safety requirements. Over […]

Wheeler v. Sanders Petition for Writ and Complaint

Filed in December 2003, Wheeler v. Sanders alleged that Los Angeles County violated state and federal requirements designed to ensure children are safe because the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services failed to approve relative foster homes according to legal standards and to assist relatives in meeting basic health and safety requirements. Over […]

Warren v. Saenz Peremptory Writ of Mandate

Warren v. Saenz was a taxpayer action alleging that the California Department of Social Services has deliberately ignored the fact that nine counties — including Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Orange — operate shelter facilities in violation of state licensing laws. Charging that thousands of California’s abused and neglected children each year are […]

Warren v. Saenz Petition for Writ and Complaint

Warren v. Saenz was a taxpayer action alleging that the California Department of Social Services has deliberately ignored the fact that nine counties — including Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Orange — operate shelter facilities in violation of state licensing laws. Charging that thousands of California’s abused and neglected children each year are […]

Ward v. Kearney Settlement Agreement

Ward v. Kearney was a federal class action lawsuit that alleged that Broward County’s foster homes, shelters, and other residential facilities were crowded and children were not screened to determine if they present a risk to other children. It also challenged the caseload size and turnover of foster care workers. Broward County’s foster care workers […]

Ward v. Kearney Complaint

Ward v. Kearney was a federal class action lawsuit that alleged that Broward County’s foster homes, shelters, and other residential facilities were crowded and children were not screened to determine if they present a risk to other children. It also challenged the caseload size and turnover of foster care workers. Broward County’s foster care workers […]

Timothy J. v. Chaffee Settlement Agreement

Timothy J. v. Chaffee challenged the failure of the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services to monitor children in foster care by having face-to-face contact with each child at least once a month as required by state policy and the failure of Los Angeles County to file a plan for child welfare services as […]

Timothy J. v. Chaffee First Amended Complaint

Timothy J. v. Chaffee challenged the failure of the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services to monitor children in foster care by having face-to-face contact with each child at least once a month as required by state policy and the failure of Los Angeles County to file a plan for child welfare services as […]

Susan C. v. Florida Department of Children and Family Services Writ of Mandamus

Susan C. v. Florida Department of Children and Family Services, filed in state court in April 2005, was a class action lawsuit that charged the Department of Children and Family Services (‘DCF’) and a private contract foster care agency, Big Bend Community Based Care, Inc., with failing to find appropriate and licensed foster placements for […]

Susan C. v. Florida Department of Children and Family Services Settlement wtih Big Bend

Susan C. v. Florida Department of Children and Family Services, filed in state court in April 2005, was a class action lawsuit that charged the Department of Children and Family Services (‘DCF’) and a private contract foster care agency, Big Bend Community Based Care, Inc., with failing to find appropriate and licensed foster placements for […]

Susan C. v. Florida Department of Children and Family Services Complaint

Susan C. v. Florida Department of Children and Family Services, filed in state court in April 2005, was a class action lawsuit that charged the Department of Children and Family Services (‘DCF’) and a private contract foster care agency, Big Bend Community Based Care, Inc., with failing to find appropriate and licensed foster placements for […]

Rene M. v. Anderson Amended Petition

Rene M. v. Anderson was filed as a writ of mandate to require that the State monitor all California counties to ensure that children in foster care are visited regularly by caseworkers and that they receive necessary medical care. Although the state has known for more than ten years that counties are failing to protect […]

Rene M. v. Anderson Stipulated Settlement

Rene M. v. Anderson was filed as a writ of mandate to require that the State monitor all California counties to ensure that children in foster care are visited regularly by caseworkers and that they receive necessary medical care. Although the state has known for more than ten years that counties are failing to protect […]

Mark A. v. Wilson Stipulated Judgment

Mark A. v. Wilson was filed in January 1998 alleging that the State’s administration of the Adoption Assistance Program, a federally funded program that provides families with financial support when they adopt hard to place foster children, requires parents to provide extensive financial data before they can be considered for the program and discourages families […]

Mark A. v. Wilson First Amended Complaint

Mark A. v. Wilson was filed in January 1998 alleging that the State’s administration of the Adoption Assistance Program, a federally funded program that provides families with financial support when they adopt hard to place foster children, requires parents to provide extensive financial data before they can be considered for the program and discourages families […]

Higgins v. Saenz Stipulated Settlement Agreement and Order

Higgins v. Saenz, a lawsuit the Youth Law Center filed on October 24, 2002, against the State Department of Social Services, challenged the agency’s failure to enforce federal regulations requiring states to license foster homes of relatives that care for youth to ensure that the homes meet health and safety requirements. The suit charged that […]

Higgins v. Saenz Petition

Higgins v. Saenz, a lawsuit the Youth Law Center filed on October 24, 2002, against the State Department of Social Services, challenged the agency’s failure to enforce federal regulations requiring states to license foster homes of relatives that care for youth to ensure that the homes meet health and safety requirements. The suit charged that […]

Donaldson v. Archuleta Settlement Agreement and Full Release

This lawsuit challenged Alameda County’s failure to comply with the minimum child welfare health and safety standards of care imposed by state law. Alameda County failed every child welfare services audit conducted by the State Department of Social Services during the fifteen years prior to the filing of the lawsuit in January, 2001. The lawsuit […]

Donaldson v. Archuleta Petition and Complaint

This lawsuit challenged Alameda County’s failure to comply with the minimum child welfare health and safety standards of care imposed by state law. Alameda County failed every child welfare services audit conducted by the State Department of Social Services during the fifteen years prior to the filing of the lawsuit in January, 2001. The lawsuit […]

Booraem v. Orange County Settlement Agreement

Booraem v. Orange County, filed in August 1998, challenged the detention of abused and neglected infants and young children for extended periods of time under illegal and unconstitutional conditions in Orangewood Children’s Home, an unlicensed institution owned and operated by Orange County. The lawsuit targeted Orangewood’s failure to meet the mandated standards of care for […]

Booraem v. Orange County Complaint and Petition for Writ of Mandate

Booraem v. Orange County, filed in August 1998, challenged the detention of abused and neglected infants and young children for extended periods of time under illegal and unconstitutional conditions in Orangewood Children’s Home, an unlicensed institution owned and operated by Orange County. The lawsuit targeted Orangewood’s failure to meet the mandated standards of care for […]

Bohler v. Anderson Order Granting Writ of Mandate

Bohler v. Anderson was filed in June 1997 over the failure of the Department of Social Services to develop a system for deciding where to place abused and neglected children. The state spends between $1100 and $5000 per month per child on group home care, depending upon the intensity of care needed for troubled children. […]

Bohler v. Anderson Petition for Writ of Mandate

Bohler v. Anderson was filed in June 1997 over the failure of the Department of Social Services to develop a system for deciding where to place abused and neglected children. The state spends between $1100 and $5000 per month per child on group home care, depending upon the intensity of care needed for troubled children. […]

A.S.W. v. Mink Ninth Circuit Opinion

A.S.W. v. Mink, a class action lawsuit, challenged the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) actions to unilaterally reduce and, in some cases, end Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) payments for children with special needs and deny families the right to an administrative fair hearing to contest DHS’s actions. Oregon implemented a unilateral across the board […]

A.S.W. v. Mink Complaint

A.S.W. v. Mink, a class action lawsuit, challenged the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) actions to unilaterally reduce and, in some cases, end Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) payments for children with special needs and deny families the right to an administrative fair hearing to contest DHS’s actions. Oregon implemented a unilateral across the board […]

Recommendations on Children in Foster Care – California Working Families Policy Summit

The Youth Law Center was co-sponsor of the 2009 California Working Families Policy Summit, held January 13 at the Sacramento Convention Center. Organized by The California Center for Research on Women and Families, the Summit brought together over 700 policymakers and advocates to address high priority policy issues for California families. This year’s Summit Workshops […]

Sam M. v. Carcieri Amicus

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 […]

Overpayments – YLC Fact Sheet

This fact sheet describes what overpayments are and what the rules are if the overpayments occur in the following programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC-FC) (Foster Care), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP) and Adoption Assistance Program (AAP).

AB 938 Fact Sheet

AB 938 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 to review reports and […]

AB 154 Fact Sheet

AB 154 would increase the incentives of to promote the adoption of children in foster care, particularly those with special needs and older youth.

AB 12 Fact Sheet

AB 12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, is co-sponsored by the Youth Law Center. AB 12 will extend foster care benefits to youth after the age of 18 and allow California to participate in the federal Kinship Guardianship Assistance program.

Update: “Fostering Connections to Success: Extending a Social Safety Net for Youths Facing Homelessness and Poverty”

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 […]

Policy Brief – Early Childhood Education Programs

Early childhood education programs can provide critical education and other services for children in foster care, but not all eligible foster children are enrolled in an appropriate program.  This California Foster Youth Education Task Force’s policy brief on early childhood education programs provides a list of early childhood education policy issues and proposed courses of […]

Making Reasonable Efforts: A Permanent Home for Every Child

An update of our earlier publication, Making Reasonable Efforts: Steps for Keeping Families Together, this handbook explains what reasonable efforts are as we move out of the 1990’s. It describes both the old and new reasonable efforts requirements in detail and outlines specific actions that should be taken by attorneys, judges, and child welfare agencies […]

Model Questions for Defining Reasonable Efforts

A booklet in question and answer format that serves as a guide for judges in evaluating “”whether child welfare agencies have made ‘reasonable efforts’ to preserve or unify families in abuse/neglect cases.”” The booklet may also be helpful to other participants in the juvenile court process: case workers, mental health workers, attorneys, etc.

Sam and Tony M. v. Carcieri Opinion

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 […]

All County Letter 09-86 Re: Relative Notification Procedures

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 […]