National Center for Youth Law

At the Center

Director John O’Toole Announces Plan to Retire

o'toole headshot

I plan to retire this summer, probably in August.  By then I will have been at the National Center for Youth Law for 35 years. While I still love my work, I want to leave while I’m healthy so that my wife Jean and I can enjoy ourselves and do the things we don’t have time for now.

Looking back, I feel good about what NCYL has accomplished over my 35 years here. We have won landmark victories on behalf of children in foster care and adolescents ensnared in a broken juvenile justice system.  We have helped hundreds of thousands of children in need and improved the systems intended to serve them: troubled teens whose problem are exacerbated by confinement in juvenile prisons; abused and neglected children living in a foster care system that does not meet their needs; adolescents who need access to health care; immigrant children in this country without their parents, who were being mistreated by callous immigration officials;  traumatized children denied mental health services that could put them on a path to a healthy and productive life; and many other groups of children whose voices are often not heard.  I don’t deserve the credit for this work.  Credit belongs to the talented, dedicated, and hardworking lawyers and staff who have always been the core of our success and who will continue to do this work long after I leave NCYL.

Read the full statement here: John O’Toole retirement statement