Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

September 01, 2017

Navigating the Path to a Successful Career: New Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities

posted by Elisa Egonu, Legal Intern, and Karen U. Lindell, Staff Attorney

As any high schooler can tell you, finding paid work experiences in today’s economy can be a real challenge. But youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice and foster care systems face a particularly difficult road. In addition to the challenges of system involvement, youth with disabilities often encounter discriminatory attitudes or hiring practices when searching for a job, and they may need additional supports, workplace accommodations, or specialized training to secure and maintain employment. These added hurdles dramatically hinder these young people’s chance of success; research shows that youth and young adults with disabilities are employed at less than half the rate of their non-disabled peers.

Tags:Access to Education|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Older Youth with Disabilities|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
Read more >

August 25, 2017

Navigating the Path to a Successful Career: The Vitality of Vital Records

posted by Essie Lazarus, Juvenile Law Center intern

Large numbers of youth leave the child welfare and juvenile justice systems without their vital documents or they are not able to maintain them due to housing instability. Not having these records makes smoothly transitioning to adulthood difficult, if not impossible. The consequences system-involved youth experience by not having these essential records include potential housing instability, the inability to pursue certain educational opportunities and financial aid, and lack of access to public benefits. Not having identification can also be a barrier to employment.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
Read more >

August 18, 2017

Navigating the Path to a Successful Career: New Juvenile Law Center Report Addresses Barriers for Youth in Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System

posted by Karen U. Lindell, Staff Attorney

As summer comes to a close, many teens around the country are wrapping up one of the first steps in their “career pathway”: a summer job. These short-term positions are not just a pastime; research shows that summer employment reduces dropout rates, improves long-term employment prospects, and decreases the chance of future involvement in the criminal justice system.

In a new report funded by the Lenfest Foundation, Juvenile Law Center takes a focused look at the barriers to career pathways that system-involved youth encounter. Based on an in-depth needs assessment of the Philadelphia community, the report offers five strategies to improve access to career-focused programs and early work experiences for youth in the child welfare or juvenile justice system.

Tags:Access to Education|Ban the Box|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Community and School Reentry|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Second Chances|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
Read more >

August 11, 2017

NCJFCJ’s Resolution Commits the Judiciary to Play a Pivotal Role in Seeing and Addressing the Risk of Homelessness That So Many Court Involved Youth Face

posted by Jennifer Pokempner, Child Welfare Policy Director

On July 15th, 2017, the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges adopted a RESOLUTION ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS YOUTH AND FAMILIES IN JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURTS. This is a groundbreaking resolution that explicitly acknowledges the relationship between child welfare and juvenile justice system involvement and homelessness. It commits the judiciary to take a leadership role to reduce the chances that youth will enter these systems because of homelessness or leave these systems and become homeless. This is an important step that will be a catalyst for policy and practice changes that will benefit court-involved youth as they transition to adulthood.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
Read more >

August 04, 2017

Making a Truly Healthy Transition to Adulthood Relies on a Strong Medicaid Program and Our Commitment to Enhance Access to Quality Care

posted by Jennifer Pokempner, Child Welfare Policy Director, Juvenile Law Center

Meeting a young person’s health and behavioral health needs is foundational to a successful transition to adulthood. If these needs are not met, it is hard to meet other goals like working, going to school, and taking care of family. Making sure these needs are adequately addressed is a significant foster care and aging out issue because of the large numbers of youth in foster care who do have behavioral health challenges and have been exposed to trauma.

Tags:Access to Healthcare|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Older Youth with Disabilities|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)|Trauma and Trauma Informed Advocacy
Read more >

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