TeamChild serves youth 12-18 years old who are experiencing school failure and exclusion, conflict in the home, mental illness, substance abuse, delinquency, and homelessness. Our staff work in partnership with youth to define and secure services that address these needs. TeamChild services range from legal advice and consultation with youth to active representation in formal complaints, court or administrative hearings.
TeamChild provides extensive community legal education and training to youth, families, foster care providers, juvenile court professionals, attorneys, and other community partners on a wide range of topics impacting youth. TeamChild's outreach and training efforts strengthen and expand the network of individuals and organizations that are aware of and proactively advocating for resources to meet the critical needs of young people.
TeamChild works to improve the education, juvenile justice, mental health, and child welfare systems to better meet the needs of youth at risk by actively participating in local and statewide policy reform efforts. Our perspective is uniquely informed by the experiences of the hundreds of youth we represent each year and by our expertise in education, public health, juvenile court, dependency and other areas impacting youth.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Independent program evaluations have shown that TeamChild reduces court involvement and saves taxpayer dollars. In addition to the community wide benefits, the successes we achieve on behalf of youth are life changing. In 2009, 50% of the youth referred to TeamChild were out of school; 80% of youth receiving representation are back in a school program by the time their case is closed despite barriers such as truancy, disciplinary issues, and disabilities that challenge academic success.
Youth who are marginalized by poverty, discrimination, juvenile justice involvement, abuse and neglect, and disability need effective advocates who can break down barriers to long-term success. General support would help TeamChild provide a unique service to young people who would not otherwise have a voice in shaping and securing solutions that address their critical need for safe and stable housing, education, and treatment.