National Center for Youth Law


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Highlights of Our Work – August 2017

Lawsuit Charges Missouri With Pervasive Failure To Monitor The Prescription And Administration Of Powerful Psychotropic Medications To Foster Youth ›
NCYL has joined with Children’s Rights and Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics to file the first class action lawsuit to shine a federal spotlight solely on the overuse of psychotropic medications among vulnerable, at risk populations. The landmark, civil rights complaint against Jennifer Tidball, Acting State Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) and Tim Decker, Director of the Children’s Division of DSS, is on behalf of all minor children and youth who are or will be placed in Missouri’s foster care custody. The complaint alleges longstanding, dangerous, unlawful and deliberately indifferent practices by the defendants.
California Invests $2.9 million to Prevent Unplanned Pregnancy Among Foster Youth in California and to Protect Their Reproductive Rights ›
The California state budget adopted in July includes a $2.9 million dollar request from NCYL and its partners, In Our Own Voice, National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, and John Burton Advocates to ensure foster youth receive age appropriate, medically accurate comprehensive sex education, and access to reproductive and sexual health services. As a result California law now requires child welfare case workers to ensure foster youth ages 10 and older receive the state-mandated comprehensive sexual health curriculum provided in public schools. In addition, on an annual basis, case workers must document in the child welfare case plan that they have informed foster youth 10 and older of their reproductive rights, how to access reproductive health care, and how to address barriers to access in an age and developmentally appropriate manner. The law also provides for training social workers, caregivers, and judges on how to engage with youth and non-minor dependents about healthy sexual development in an age and developmentally appropriate manner, and the reproductive rights and services available to foster youth.
Victory for Detained Immigrant Children ›
The Ninth Circuit Court has issued a ruling that requires bond hearings for detained immigrant children. A three-judge panel found that the Federal Government must abide by a 1997 legal settlement in Flores v. Reno that established a policy for the detention, release and treatment of minors in immigration custody. NCYL served as co-counsel in the original settlement and continues to work with lead counsel, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, in this matter.