National Center for Youth Law


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April-September 2011


NCYL in the News — Apr-Sept 2011

October 1, 2011


NCYL and Human Rights Watch are co-sponsoring California Senate Bill 9, which would allow reviews of life without parole sentences for juveniles. The bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting a vote of the full Assembly.

At the Center — Apr-Sept 2011

October 1, 2011

Erin Liotta to Join NCYL as Bridge Fellow

Erin Liotta, a summer 2010 law clerk at NCYL will be returning to the Center this fall as a bridge fellow through Berkeley Law School. Erin graduated last spring from Berkeley Law, where she volunteered at the

WA State Foster Care Reform Settlement Extended

October 1, 2011
Given the large number of outcomes not yet attained under the Settlement Agreement in Braam v. Washington, both parties agreed to extend the agreement by three months, to Oct. 31, 2011. According to the latest report issued last March by the Monitoring Panel in…

NCYL Appeals Dismissal of Foster Care Reform Case in Las Vegas

October 1, 2011
NCYL has appealed to the 9th Circuit a recent District Court dismissal of its lawsuit against Nevada officials to reform the foster care system in Clark County (Las Vegas). The appeal argues that the Court erroneously denied foster children the legal protections to which they…

New California Laws Enhance Foster Youths’ Educational Stability

October 1, 2011
Youth in foster care face significant hardships when bounced from placement to placement and school to school. California AB 490, which NCYL was instrumental in shaping and implementing, granted comprehensive educational rights to foster youth. Building on AB 490, passed in 2003, the California Legislature…

CA’s Fair Sentencing Law Awaits Assembly Vote

October 1, 2011
The California Assembly has failed to vote on a bill providing for a review of life without parole sentences for juveniles. The bill, which cleared the Senate, could be further amended and voted on by the Assembly in January. Under California’s Senate Bill 9, youth…

Senate Bill 39 Challenges Secrecy Around Child Deaths, But Faces Obstacles

October 1, 2011
By Edward Opton NCYL-sponsored legislation that gives the public access to key information about deaths from child abuse and neglect has begun to make a difference, but efforts to implement the law continue to face significant resistance. For many years, crucial facts about the deaths…

Federal Court Mandates Raise in Foster Care Maintenance Rates

October 1, 2011
by Regina Deihl

After three and a half years of litigation, the US District Court in San Francisco ordered the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to “immediately” implement new, higher reimbursement rates for California foster parents.1 The court’s order, issued by Judge William…

Title IV-E Waiver: Is It Working?

October 1, 2011
by Chris Switzer

Halfway through CA’s experiment with capped grants to fund child welfare services, little can be said about their effect on child welfare. The US Congress is now considering whether to renew a program under which two California counties, Alameda and Los Angeles,…

Youth Law News Celebrates 30 Years!

October 1, 2011
Since 1981, Youth Law News has served as a vehicle for communication among child advocates throughout the country, while increasing the visibility of children’s issues within the legal services community. It has also served to raise the profile of NCYL and its work. Child advocates…

NCYL Fellows

October 1, 2011
NCYL is very proud and grateful to have had so many bright, committed young fellows over the past 20 years. These talented young lawyers, chosen for these highly prestigious fellowships, have made such a significant contribution to our work. NCYL is so fortunate to have…

A Conversation with Our Board Members

October 1, 2011
NCYL Director John O’Toole and Communications Director Tracy Schroth sat down with three of NCYL’s board members to get their perspective on NCYL’s past and future. The board members were chosen based on their varied legal backgrounds, and tenure on the board, which ranges from…

About the Staff

October 1, 2011


Director John F. O’Toole has served for 30 years as the Director of the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL). Under his leadership, the Center has built a national reputation for its successful advocacy on behalf of tens of thousands of

NCYL’s Staff

October 1, 2011

Our Award-Winning Advocates

The outstanding contributions to child advocacy made by NCYL attorneys have been recognized over the years by various other organizations. Award-winning staff members include: William Grimm (2006) Voices for Children Award from the Children’s Alliance in Washington State. This award recognized the…

NCYL’s History

October 1, 2011
The early days, 1970-81: The National Center for Youth Law was founded in 1970 in San Francisco as the Youth Law Center. The goal of the Center, an offshoot of the San Francisco Legal Aid Society, was to use the law as a tool of…

NCYL’s Greatest Hits

October 1, 2011
The following is an overview of the work done in NCYL’s priority areas over the past 40 years.

Child Welfare

Braam v. State of Washington, 81 P.3d 851 (Wash. 2003)—Working with Columbia Legal Services and private attorney Tim Farris, NCYL Senior Attorney Bill Grimm…

Message from the Director

October 1, 2011
Dear Friends, This issue of Youth Law News celebrates 40 years of the National Center for Youth Law’s leadership in child advocacy.  I am proud to be associated with NCYL and staff, Board members, and financial supporters who have contributed to its efforts to improve…

NCYL Celebrates 40 Years: 40 Years of Child Advocacy

October 1, 2011
For 40 years, the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) has worked to protect the most vulnerable children in our society. The Center is committed to furthering social justice by representing the rights of children who often have no voice in the political process or…