September 2019 Donor Impact Report
3 Ways Your Gift Has Advanced Justice for Children
Your donation to the National Center for Youth Law is a catalyst for our mission to advance justice for children. Here are just a few ways in which you have moved our work forward so far in 2019:
Advocating for Immigrant Youth Rights
“The Trump Administration’s proposed regulations, purporting to implement the Flores Settlement, are nothing more than a prescription for the mass internment of children.”
– Leecia Welch, Senior Director of Legal Advocacy & Child Welfare
NCYL’s Immigration and Legal Advocacy teams are working around the clock to protect the rights of immigrant children in U.S. federal custody, primarily by advancing three class-action lawsuits. On August 23, the federal government introduced final regulations that would eliminate critical protections laid out in the Flores Settlement Agreement. The final regulations allow the Department of Homeland Security to detain children indefinitely, house children in substandard facilities without state licensing, and eliminate any meaningful oversight or accountability for such facilities. On August 30, NCYL and Flores co-counsel filed a supplemental memorandum in support of our motion to block the Administration’s final regulations.
The government has also filed a notice of termination of the Flores Settlement Agreement, and in the alternative, a motion to terminate the Agreement. We will continue to fight to protect the Flores Settlement Agreement in order to ensure that detained children are treated with respect and provided the protections and services to which they are legally entitled.
Investing in Healthier Alternatives to Youth Incarceration
Young people entering the justice system often face abuse, neglect, or trauma in their lives – harms which are exacerbated by incarceration. To ensure youth receive the supports they need to heal and grow instead of becoming further traumatized, NCYL’s California Youth Justice Initiative secured $20 million in California’s state budget for 2019-20 to augment the Youth Reinvestment Fund, established by NCYL in 2018. The Fund enables counties, cities, and nonprofit organizations to invest in age-appropriate and strengths-based alternatives to arrest and incarceration for young people within their own communities.
On August 22, the team held a lobby day with young advocates to ask legislators to make these funds more accessible for communities throughout the state by passing Assembly Bill 1454. The bill, which has bi-partisan support, is now headed toward a vote on the Senate Floor.
Ending Overmedication of Children in Foster Care
In 2017, NCYL filed M.B. v. Tidball to address the failure of the State of Missouri to oversee the safe administration of psychotropic drugs to children in foster care and to ensure children are only prescribed these medications when it is in their best interests.
This July, the judge preliminarily approved a settlement agreement worked out through months of intensive mediation by our team and the state agencies responsible for children in Missouri’s custody. The agreement – the first of its kind in the country – aims to create a comprehensive state system to oversee and monitor prescriptions and use of psychotropic medication for children in foster care and to protect them from dangerous, unnecessary prescriptions.
The work we do to uphold children’s rights depends upon your support. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to justice for children and youth across the country!