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Lawyers For Children

New York New York City Etats-Unis USA

Lawyers for children in high conflict custody cases and foster youth in New York City.

Lawyers For Children (LFC) improves the lives of the most vulnerable children and youth in foster care in New York City by providing both free legal and social support advocacy to abused and neglected children, children in foster care and children in high conflict custody cases - ensuring that every young person LFC represents finds the love, safety and true sense of family they need to thrive. LFC’s revolutionary model assigns one lawyer and one social worker to advocate together on each case for each child in need. In addition, LFC staff works to affect change on a system-wide by identifying failures in the foster care system and working toward large-scale litigation and legislative redesign.

The Challenges

Les Challenges

About 11,100 children are in the foster care system in New York City, with about 800agingouteachyear
1 in 5 will become homeless after age 18
Only 1 in 2 will be employed at age 24
Less than 3% will earn a college degree
1 in 4 will experience Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder

Key facts Éléments Clés

Age Range Âge ciblé 0 — 24 0 à 24 ans
Beneficiaries Bénéficiaires 2,580 2 580
Sectors Secteurs Rights & Protection Droits et Protection
Staff Personnel 65 65
Budget Budget $8,501,551 $8 501 551
Year established Lancement 1984 1984
(2017 data estimates) (Donnés;es estimées 2017)

Key Programs

Programmes principaux

Comprehensive Support

Each child supported by LFC is assigned an attorney and social worker who work closely together to address the child’s comprehensive needs. Individualized support is provided to vulnerable children facing a range of hurdles, from sexual abuse or domestic violence, to aging out of foster care and securing a livelihood. In addition to their attorney-social worker teams, LFC employs two full-time Youth Advocates (young adults who have successfully aged out of foster care) to provide meaningful advice and supplemental support for clients. LFC also works to publicize and spread its nationally recognized best-practice model of 2-on-1 service.

Advocacy

LFC staff members leverage expertise gained from casework with beneficiaries to create lasting improvements to New York City’s foster care system through legislative change. A three pronged approach is implemented to achieve this impact: working directly with foster care agencies, developing policy for the proper treatment of youth in care, and filing class action lawsuits to compel systemic reform. Specifically, LFC played a crucial role in supporting the drafting and passing of the legislation that mandated more frequent court hearings on behalf of foster children, and that extended family court jurisdiction to age 21 for youth who were placed in foster care by their family. This legislation provides support during the delicate time when foster youth transitions to an independent life.

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