Program areas at Alliance For Children's Rights
Adoption and Guardianship: Stable, nurturing homes are a primary need for the children the Alliance serves. Adoption gives children in foster care a chance to be part of a permanent family. Together with pro bono attorneys, the Alliance overcomes barriers and delays for children waiting for their adoption to finalize, completing approximately one-third of all adoptions out of foster care in L.A. County. Adoption is not the only means through which children who cannot safely remain with birthparents find stable, loving homes. The Alliance and its pro bono partners help low-income caregivers become legal guardians through the probate court, to allow for children's medical care and education. The Alliance then advocates for healthcare and supportive benefits to help these families stay secure and thrive.
Transition Age Youth (TAY): Every year, thousands of young people "age out" of the foster care system in L.A. without a permanent family or adequate preparation. The Alliance provides targeted support to those youth ages 14-24, to help them overcome barriers to employment, education, housing, and healthcare. The Alliance assists youth who have experienced identity thefts and financial frauds, and advocates for high-needs foster youth, including pregnant and parenting teens, youth who cross into the delinquency system, and youth with severe disabilities. It also empowers these youth with connection to resources, skill building workshops, advocacy opportunities, and mentoring. Together with pro bono attorneys and other volunteers, the Alliance is improving outcomes and promoting independence for youth.
Education: More than half of all children in foster care have learning disabilities or developmental delays. This, combined with frequent moves and school changes, results in a 50% school drop-out rate. However, evidence shows that reaching children at a young age will improve healthy development and reduce or avoid the need for special education and mental health services later. The Alliance advocates for foster children ages 0-19 to receive assessments, education services, and therapies tailored to meet their special needs. The Alliance also works to keep youth succeeding in school and on track for high school graduation by ensuring that they are in appropriate classes, receive appropriate credits, and have access to education plans, tutoring, and transportation, even when they must change schools.