JustChildren provides free civil legal representation to low-income children statewide who have unmet needs in the education, foster care, and juvenile justice systems. While our clients have a wide variety of needs, in each case our primary objective is to protect our clients’ rights to live and thrive safely in their communities and in their schools.
Contact with individual clients is also how we stay informed about what is happening in classrooms, on playgrounds, and in juvenile courts. It helps us stays connected to the real world and holds us accountable to our clients.
We have successfully protected and advanced the rights of children and families in the following kinds of cases:
We can help make sure students with disabilities are identified, evaluated, and served in the least restrictive environment in which they can learn.
We can advocate for the re-enrollment of students who have been suspended, expelled, or placed in an alternative education program.
We can advocate for improved educational and mental health services for youth who are at risk of detention or commitment due to the unavailability of inadequacy of these services. (We do not handle delinquency cases, but we are available for referrals from courts, probation officers, or other attorneys and can accept Guardian ad litem appointments in the appropriate circumstances.)
We can represent students who have been referred to juvenile court for truancy (also known as “child-in-need-of-supervision”).
Enrollment or Re-enrollment
We can assist any student having difficulty enrolling in school, including immigrant, foster, and homeless youth, as well as young offenders returning to the community from incarceration.
We can meet with clients inside juvenile correctional facilities and protect their rights to be safe, to receive treatment, and to have access to meaningful educational opportunities.
We can assist youth with legal issues involving their anticipated return to the community after incarceration, including reenrollment, access to mental health and other services, and representation at serious offender review hearings.