Juvenile Law Center

Child Welfare and Foster Care

Juvenile Law Center has created this guide, Promoting Normalcy for Children and Youth in Foster Care, to help states embed the new “normalcy” requirements of the law into their own state law and regulation.

Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)|Youth Engagement Programs
Youth Recommendations to Reduce Homelessness for Youth Aging out of the Child Welfare System

Our advocates recognized that most of them had either experienced homelessness or were in fear of becoming homeless at some point in their young adult life. They decided to create recommendations to reduce youth homelessness.

Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Tools for Improving Academic and Career/Technical Education in the Juvenile Justice System

Youth typically enter juvenile justice placements with significant educational deficits. Nationally, as many as two-thirds of youth drop out of school after release from juvenile facilities.This publication examines one particular initiative that has shown great success in combating this problem—the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT). PACTT’s model suggests that, despite the inevitable stress and disruption of juvenile placement, thoughtful interventions can help youth to get back on track.

Juvenile and Criminal Justice

In Ten Strategies to Reduce Juvenile Length of Stay, Juvenile Law Center draws from a 50 state review of state statutes, conversations with national stakeholders and decision-makers, and input from preeminent researchers and scholars in the field.  The publication aims to start a deeper conversation about state policies – including agency policy, state statute, and regulations – that can address the problem of unnecessarily long stays in juvenile facilities.

Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Youth Engagement Programs

Youth advocates in Juveniles for Justice, one of Juvenile Law Center's youth engagement programs, created a set of recommendations aimed at addressing systemic problems with educational services provided in the juvenile justice system.

Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Sharing Education Records to Improve Outcomes for Children in the Juvenile Justice System

Children in the juvenile justice system are at high-risk of falling behind educationally and dropping out of school. Responsible information-sharing can help address these problems. This publication explores how education records can be responsibly shared with juvenile justice staff under one relevant federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Confidentiality and Expungement of Juvenile Records

Failed Policies, Forfeited Futures: A Nationwide Scorecard on Juvenile Records, is the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of state policies that govern the confidentiality and expungement of juvenile court and law enforcement records. No state earned the maximum five-star rating, with the national average coming in at three stars out of the possible five stars.

Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Public access to records of juvenile arrests, court proceedings and dispositions can impede successful transitions to adulthood for many youth, especially when these records remain available long after the youth’s involvement with the juvenile justice system has ended. These records can create obstacles for youth seeking employment, education, housing and other opportunities. In this National Review, we provide an overview of state laws and policies on confidentiality, sealing and expungement, and note how many of these state laws and policies fail to adequately protect children.

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)|Juvenile Law Center Publications
A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform

True to its title, this report aims to help jurisdictions embed the goals of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) into state law.

Child Welfare and Foster Care|Juvenile and Criminal Justice
A New Look at Legal Advocacy for Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems

Sets forth key risks of and opportunities for using research on trauma in youth advocacy, and focuses on legal strategies advocates can use in court, and the state and local policies needed to support these strategies.

Support Juvenile Law Center

One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before. Support