Strategic Plan, 2012-2014
Download Juvenile Law Center's 2012-2014 Strategic Plan >>
Founded in 1975 as the nation's first public interest law firm for children and youth, Juvenile Law Center initially served only youth in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Over time, Juvenile Law Center grew to become a national children's rights organization, expanding its reach across the country as our widely sought expertise propelled us into the national arena.
While Juvenile Law Center has expanded its geographic reach, it has simultaneously narrowed and deepened its substantive reach. This evolution has been both purposeful and in response to specific and often unanticipated events. Through rigorous strategic planning efforts over the last decade, Juvenile Law Center limited its focus from children of all ages to youth primarily ages 10-21. Staff developed distinctive competence in child welfare and juvenile and criminal justice, and built upon a growing body of research on adolescent development and youth transitioning to adulthood.
Juvenile Law Center doubled in size from 2000 to 2010, and more than doubled its budget. Juvenile Law Center is currently a 19-person (10-lawyer) public interest law firm with a $2.3 million budget; our permanent legal staff is also supplemented each year by fellows. Over the same period, Juvenile Law Center increased the geographic diversity of our Board of Directors, adding members from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New York, Washington, D.C, and Chicago. Juvenile Law Center dramatically increased its investment in strategic communications, national outreach, and built a cash reserve.
Juvenile Law Center serves society's most vulnerable youth, who are most likely to be mislabeled, ignored, harmed or scarred for life by systems that are supposed to help them.
Juvenile Law Center will strive to ensure that:
- Laws, polices and practices affecting youth in the child welfare and justice sysetms are grounded in principles of adolescent development and other relevant research;
- Justice and child welfare systems respond appropriately to the impact of trauma on adolescent behavior;
- Justice and child welfare systems minimize disproportionality along race and class lines;
- The United States legal system recognizes and responds to human rights and international law providing greater protections to youth in the child welfare and justice systems;
- Youth have a voice in their immediate situations and in federal and state advocacy efforts to improve the justice and child welfare systems; and
- Justice and child welfare systems recognize families' strengths as caregivers and decision-makers in their children's lives.
Read more about our goals for 2012-2014 in our Strategic Plan.