Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

May 23, 2017

For many youth "a cell phone is life."

posted by Anthony Simpson, youth advocate

The stigma attached to being homeless has a massive impact on the prevention and direct treatment of homelessness, regardless the severity of one’s situation. No child should bear the responsibility of acquiring housing alone. These days, though, technology is so accessible and essential to the social sphere of young people. We are never truly alone, are we? During my bouts with homelessness the most common possession I had (as did other teens I’d met in shelters or when we were just looking for a permanent home) was the same object many teenagers have in their pockets - a smartphone. A cell phone is life. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends we’ve had to separate from, how we keep track of time for when the days seemed to blend together between cat naps, and for some, memorabilia of a time before finding ourselves without shelter.

Tags:Youth Fostering Change|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Fostering Connections|Normalcy for Foster Youth|Older Youth with Disabilities|Permanency (Foster Care)|Teens and Technology|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)|Youth Engagement Programs
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November 22, 2016

Everyone Deserves a Family: Adoption and Young Adults

posted by Juvenile Law Center

We asked older youth and young adults about their thoughts on finding family and on adoption. Below are the insights of Jason, 24 (pictured above with his parents), who is currently in law school and an advocate for youth in foster care. He was adopted at age 23 and speaks compellingly of the importance of family and the joy he has experienced from being part of a family.

The right to family is fundamental to our emotional well-being and is among our most important legal rights. Families give us strength, identity, and belonging. People define family differently; not every “family” is formalized in the law. Still, adoption provides a child both relational and legal permanency. November is Adoption Month and celebrates the importance of family to us all, especially for older youth in foster care.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Normalcy for Foster Youth|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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May 26, 2016

Letting Kids be Kids: The Strengthening Families Act

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Youth in foster care often describe normalcy as being able to do all the things their friends who are not in foster care get to do: sleep over at a friend’s house, play on a school team, or go on vacation. But foster youth are routinely denied these typical childhood experiences because of the real or perceived need to get advance approval from the child welfare agency or the court.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Fostering Connections|Normalcy for Foster Youth|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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May 12, 2016

What is “permanency” and why should you care?

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Youth homelessness is multifaceted, complex, and very different from adult homelessness. A major contributor to youth homelessness nationwide is the failure of the child welfare system to find permanency for all youth in care. Older youth, regardless of age, need and deserve to be connected to a permanent family and support system that both lifts them up and cushions them if they fall.

Tags:Youth Fostering Change|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)|Youth Engagement Programs
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March 03, 2016

Keeping Our Promise to Foster Youth: Holding Systems Accountable while Implementing the Strengthening Families Act

posted by Juvenile Law Center

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 (SFA) is our country’s most recent piece of federal legislation impacting child welfare systems, with the potential to touch almost every area of child welfare policy and practice. The law holds particular promise for older foster youth who are often forgotten by the child welfare system. Without good enforcement mechanisms, however, even the best law has little chance of success. This is especially true of laws that impact vulnerable children. Luckily, there are many ways to hold systems accountable while states implement the SFA.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Normalcy for Foster Youth|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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