NCYL attorneys assist advocates representing poor children and adolescents. HQ in Oakland.
Organization Website

Twitter: @NCYLnews
Facebook: Facebook
Primary geographic focus: National, Northern California, Southern California
Organization Type: Provider, Research/Policy/Organizing
LAAC Membership Type: Members
Lists: IOLTA-Funded, IOLTA Support Centers
Tags: Children, Disability: Mental Health, Family, Juvenile Justice
Acronym or short name: NCYL

NCYL creates lasting change for children in need by using the law to ensure that low-income children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for a fair start in life and working to ensure that public agencies created to protect and care for children do so effectively.

As a state support center, NCYL provides services to qualified legal services programs free of charge. NCYL attorneys are available to assist advocates representing poor children and adolescents. Our services include:

  • acting as a resource for private attorneys, legal services programs, social services organizations, community groups, health care professionals, teachers, and others representing poor children or adolescents on a pro bono basis;
  • providing information, referrals, technical assistance, or written materials;
  • serving as co-counsel in cases affecting a large number of children and families.
  • discussing individual client cases
  • exploring strategic and procedural considerations
  • researching and analyzing legal issues
  • providing model pleadings and briefs

NCYL provides litigation support, legislative and administrative advocacy, and publications in their priority areas: child welfare/ foster care, juvenile justice, mental health care, and reproductive health care. NCYL can also provide training in those areas, gearing trainings to programs’ specific needs.

NCYL was founded in 1970 under the name Youth Law Center. It was originally an organization that did impact litigation on behalf of delinquent youth confined in horrible places. Early in its history the organization added the plight of children in foster care to its priorities. The Youth Law Center merged with National Juvenile Law Center in St. Louis in 1978 and became the National Center for Youth Law.

National Center for Youth Law (NCYL)


LAAC Member Story

National Center for Youth Law Calls for Districts to Report Foster Student Transfers

Annie Lee
National Center for Youth Law (NCYL)
January 18, 2016
NCYL advocates for disaggregated data on foster youth in order to enable school districts to better assess and address the needs of their foster youth populations.


News Story

Even as gay rights battles are won, transgender people continue to face obstacles

Jaclyn Cosgrove
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
February 19, 2018
NCYL's Senior Director, Seth Galanter, expresses concern for civil rights for transgender people under the federal administration.

News Story , Opinion , Other

Foster Youth are Traumatized Enough: Why Psych Meds Should be Better Regulated

Tisha Ortiz
Chronicle of Social Change
July 29, 2016
According to San Jose Mercury News’ Drugging Our Kids series, foster kids in California are 3.5 times more likely than other adolescents in the U.S. to be put on a psychotropic drug.

News Story

Belmont: Lawsuit alleging sex abuse in middle school is settled

Aaron Kinney
San Jose Mercury News
September 18, 2015
Belmont-Redwood Shores School District settled a lawsuit by a former student who says that district officials acted negligently by allowing a sexual predator to inside Belmont middle school for two decades.

News Story

California Moves To Stop Misuse Of Psychiatric Meds In Foster Care

Elaine Korry
KQED Radio (NPR) (Northern California)
September 2, 2015
Legislative reforms to policies on prescribing psychiatric medication to children in foster care, provision of training, and enhancing oversight and monitoring mechanisms has moved to the California Assembly.


Your Call: What are the long-term impacts of youth who spend time behind bars?

Laura Flynn
KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco
August 19, 2015
This is part of the series Unlocked, an investigation into juvenile incarceration and its alternatives.

LAAC Member Story

National Center for Youth Law Calls for Districts to Report Foster Student Transfers

Annie Lee
National Center for Youth Law (NCYL)
January 18, 2016
NCYL advocates for disaggregated data on foster youth in order to enable school districts to better assess and address the needs of their foster youth populations.

News Story

Call for LEAs to report foster student transfers

Tom Chorneau
Cabinet Report
December 7, 2015
Foster youth and civil legal aid advocates call for new requirements on districts to report and address instability and school changes faced by foster youth.

News Story

ECS board looking at campus climate survey agreement

Will Houston
Eureka Times-Standard
March 11, 2015
Eureka City Schools was reviewed for a mandated assessment by its Board of Education, as part of a discrimination lawsuit settlement agreement.

News Story

California foster children would be better protected from overprescribing physicians, under proposed new laws now in the Assembly

Karen de Sá
San Jose Mercury News
July 11, 2015
Four bills would give greater power and set new requirements for legal staff and social service personnel to prevent the inappropriate administration of psychotropic medication.

News Story

California rejects thousands of requests for antipsychotic drugs for poor kids, foster youth

Karen de Sá
Santa Cruz Sentinel
March 11, 2015
State regulators rejected nearly 1 in 5 requests to administer antipsychotic medications for foster youth in January 2015 because they were deemed medically unnecessary.

News Story

Yolo County withholds child welfare records related to babys death

Darrell Smith
Sacramento Bee
Yolo County officials have declined releasing child welfare records related to Justice Rees, the child of Samantha Lee Green, who is facing charges on suspicion of causing her child’s death.


Community Development Series: Safe Spaces for Youth in Child Care and Foster Care

Aug 9, 2016
Child Care Law Center and National Center for Youth Law present their community development projects.
MCLE: 1 hour

Providing Legal Services to Pregnant and Parenting Teens

Mar 25, 2016
This webinar will help legal aid advocates better understand the range of services available to pregnant and parenting teens, as well as highlight some of the unique concerns and considerations when working with this population.
MCLE: 1.5 hours

This page last modified: Wed, April 25, 2018 -- 1:42 pm ET

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