$1M grant to Loyola Law used to assist LA's foster youth

  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (Photo: Frank Gehry)

The Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles was awarded $1 million grant by the Everychild Foundation to develop a new training program for law students.

The program, Everychild Integrated Education & Legal Advocacy Project, will train 36 law students to assist 300 Los Angeles foster youth over the course of three years. Students will work in teams that will include education advocates, criminal defense representatives and social workers.

“Foster youth already have the deck stacked against them when it comes to the criminal justice system,” said Loyola Professor Sean Kennedy, Kaplan & Feldman Executive Director of the CJLP and former Federal Public Defender, Central District of California. “With the Everychild Foundation’s significant help, we have the power to fulfill a critical unmet need: the holistic representation of foster youth who have been charged with crimes. Together, we have the opportunity to secure justice for kids who have traditionally lacked the means to obtain it.”

 


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The program will reach out to the Los Angeles community each week in the Los Angeles County primary juvenile dependency court. Students will work with staff to consult families and conduct client intake with a network of famiy court operatives. The program will also host a bimonthly information workshop with the goal of reaching 1,500 child advocates. A symposium is also in the works to document and assess the program’s findings.

“We are extremely proud to be associated with this project,” said Jacqueline Caster, Founder and President of the Everychild Foundation. “Crossover children require a strong advocate to assure them the services and opportunities to which they are entitled, but most often denied. Without this support, they are invariably pushed further along the proverbial ‘Pipeline to Adult Prison.’ However, with education proven to be the best vehicle to avoid this trajectory, the Loyola program has the ability to provide brighter futures for generations of children.”

A portion of the Everychild Foundation grant also will fund the addition of an EIELAP director, staff attorney and social worker. 

 

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Tyler Roberts is an editor for The National Jurist. You can follow him on Twitter at @wtylrroberts


 

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