Strategic Plan

All too often, systems meant to serve youth fall short – and when they do, youth need zealous advocates in their corner. Founded in 1975, Juvenile Law Center is the first children’s rights public interest law firm in the country.

Building on Proven Success

The 2018-2021 strategic plan is built on proven success. We will continue advocating for youth with impact litigation, appellate advocacy and amicus (friend-of-the court) briefs, policy reform, education and training, youth advocacy, and strategic communications. We will fight in courts and legislatures to end solitary confinement, ban juvenile life without parole, prevent youth homelessness, eliminate “aging out” of foster care, end juvenile fines and fees, and ensure educational success for system-involved youth. We will collaborate with youth advocates and rely on their expertise and insights.

We know this approach works. Our prior successes include: case law in the U.S. Supreme Court and throughout the states recognizing that youth need special protections; federal, state, and local policies that keep youth at home, protect them from harm, and help them grow into healthy adults; and a children’s rights advocacy field that increasingly relies on the voices of youth with direct experience in the child welfare and justice systems.

Deepening Our Commitment to Equity

Youth of color, those living in poverty, youth with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth are more likely to be pushed into the child welfare and justice systems than their peers. Research shows these disparities result from unfair treatment at multiple decision-points along the way. This plan heightens our commitment to confronting inequity and partnering with youth, families, and communities most affected by these policies.

When children thrive, communities thrive. Together, we can stand up for rights, dignity, equity, and opportunity for youth nationwide.