Program areas at Alliance for Children's Rights
Educationthe Alliance levels the playing field for children in foster care by advocating for them to receive assessments, education services, and therapies tailored to meet their special needs. The Alliance created the saltz family early intervention center which increases access to treatments and services for hundreds of children ages 0 - 5 every year. The Alliance also works to keep youth on track for high school graduation by training educators who work with children recovering from trauma, and by ensuring they are in appropriate classes, receiving appropriate credits, have tutoring, transportation and other services to support their education, even when they must change schools.
Transition-age youth (tay) servicesevery year, thousands of young people "age out" of la's foster care system without a permanent family, adequate assistance or preparation. The Alliance provides targeted support to those youth, empowering them with legal advocacy, connection to resources, skill building workshops, and mentoring to overcome barriers to employment, education, housing, and healthcare. The Alliance assists youth who have experienced financial frauds, and advocates for high-needs foster youth, including pregnant and parenting teens and youth who cross into the delinquency system. for youth with disabilities, the Alliance secures ssi benefits to pay for housing and medical care to help them avoid homelessness.
Opportunity youth collaborative (la oyc)la oyc is a collective effort to improve education and employment opportunities for transition age foster youth from ages 14 to 24. To overcome service gaps, the la oyc brings together public and private agencies, community-based organizations, foundations, educational institutions, and employers to address the barriers that impede foster youth and create pathways for them to achieve success in school and at work. By coordinating resources; aligning services; sharing information; identifying best practices; and incorporating the voices of foster youth in solutions that affect them, the la oyc is building partnerships to help foster youth succeed in education and careers.
Adoptionadoption gives foster children a chance to be part of a permanent family. Working with adoptive families to identify the Children's legal, health, educational, and financial needs, the Alliance overcomes barriers and delays for children in foster care who are waiting for their adoptions to finalize. With the help of pro bono attorneys, the Alliance completes approximately one-third of all adoptions out of foster care in los angeles county, and also obtains the services necessary to stabilize the new families. Our adoption day program led to the creation of national adoption day, which is now celebrated in every state across the country.
Guardianshipadoption is not the only means through which children who cannot safely remain with birth parents find stable, loving caregivers. The Alliance assists relatives and family friends to become legal guardians through the probate court, providing children with the stability of a family and with guardians who are authorized to provide for their medical care, education, and wellbeing. The Alliance and its pro bono attorneys help hundreds of low income caregivers become legal guardians and gain access to services and support each year.
Healthcarea child's illness can be emotionally and financially devastating for any family and, for families already living in poverty, the challenges are even greater. The Alliance helps children facing medical eligibility problems, treatment denials and inadequate access to physicians, dentists, and mental health services. The Alliance conducts training and support for medical and social service providers on the needs and Rights of foster youth and available resources. The Alliance also protects the Rights of expecting and parenting teens in foster care to healthcare and sexual and reproductive education so that they have the resources and supports they need to be good parents and break the inter-generational cycle of children being removed from young parents in foster care.
Public benefits and serviceschildren in foster care have a tremendous need for a stable home. Caregivers, particularly relatives, who step up to provide for these children are often low-income and can become overwhelmed with their new responsibilities, putting that essential stability at risk. The Alliance obtains appropriate funding and services for these children so that caregivers can provide basic necessities and access critical services like specialized medical equipment and therapies, counseling, childcare, educational services, and respite care. Securing these resources can often mean the difference between permanent, safe homes and struggling, unstable ones.
System-wide reformthe Alliance works at the state and local levels to develop and implement policies and practices that improve Children's lives and well-being. Through its work with a high volume of individual clients, as well as through collaboration with legal services programs and support centers across the state, the Alliance is able to recognize trends, identify systemic issues and pursue reform through litigation, legislative or administrative advocacy in order to improve outcomes and promote the well-being of children and families.