Juveniles for Justice and Youth Fostering Change Release 2020 Advocacy Projects on Challenges Facing Children in Child Welfare and Justice Systems

Youth advocates share two projects entitled Road Map to Reform, focused on broad system reform for juvenile justice and child welfare systems

Philadelphia, PA (October 16, 2020): Today, Juveniles for Justice and Youth Fostering Change, Juvenile Law Center advocacy programs for youth, released their annual projects the public (click here to view Juveniles for Justice’s project and here to view Youth Fostering Change’s project). These projects, both entitled Road Map to Reform, focus on the dire need to drastically reduce the incarceration and institutionalization of youth in the justice and child welfare systems, as well as strengthened mental health supports and services for youth with system-involvement. The project reports also offer recommendations for reform for policy makers and caseworkers.

“Our work at Juvenile Law Center as youth advocates is important simply because our only goal is to ensure a better life for youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems,” said Brit Christopher, Youth Fostering Change Youth Advocate. “From our experience in these systems, we know what needs to be done, what could have helped us- we know how to right the wrongs of these highly flawed systems.”

The youth are also hosting a series of lunchtime webinar chats to unveil their project, beginning today at noon and over the next three Fridays. Please register for those here.

“The justice and child welfare systems need radical reform,” said Marcía Hopkins, Senior Manager, Youth Advocacy Program & Policy at Juvenile Law Center. “These project reports offer real, tangible solutions from youth who have been in these systems. Working with our youth to launch these projects during a pandemic and national unrest, amidst vital movements for Black lives, and while advocates, and communities across the nation are fighting together for racial justice and equality was not only a strategic choice but imperative for us all.”

Members of Youth Fostering Change and Juveniles for Justice are available for questions and comments, as are program staff. 

About the Expert

Hopkins facilitates Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Advocacy Program: Youth Fostering Change, Juveniles for Justice, and the Youth Speakers Bureau. She also works closely with our attorneys on various policy-focused projects related to foster youth and transition-aged youth.

As Youth Advocacy Program Manager, Moffa manages, coordinates, and facilitates the office's youth advocacy programs: Youth Fostering Change, Juveniles for Justice, and the Youth Speakers Bureau. Additionally, Cathy supervises the yearly social work intern.

Katy Otto joined Juvenile Law Center in 2016. With a background in communications, development and government relations, she is responsible for the organization’s overall messaging strategy and implementation. She is passionate about youth justice, and committed to ensuring that the public learns about the challenges facing youth in the child welfare and justice systems. Prior to coming to Juvenile Law Center, Otto worked at a number of organizations dedicated to social justice issues – reproductive health and rights, sexual violence prevention, intimate partner violence, homelessness, and

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Ashley Smith-Juarez, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange •