Power in Partnership: Elevating Shared Parenting Policies and Practices Through The Lens of Lived Experience

Youth Law Center’s Quality Parenting Initiative has created a national movement to change the policies, practices, and culture of foster […more…]

YLC Litigation Protects the Rights of Youth to Participate in Juvenile Justice Reform 

The participation of directly impacted youth in reform of our punitive and ineffective juvenile justice system is both necessary and […more…]

Advocating for Access to Higher Education Programs for Juvenile Justice Involved Youth

California’s juvenile justice system intervenes in the lives of some of the children who have experienced the greatest challenges, and […more…]

Designed to Fail: New YLC Report Reveals Abusive, Inhumane Treatment of Black Children with Disabilities in TN

YLC’s new investigative report, Designed to Fail,  in partnership with Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) exposes the inhumane and abusive treatment […more…]

Support YLC During National Foster Care Month

May is #NationalFosterCareMonth, a time to recognize and highlight the experiences of those impacted by foster care systems. But at […more…]

YLC Transforms Foster Care Nationally through the Quality Parenting Initiative

YLC launched the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) over a decade ago as a national movement committed to ensuring that all […more…]

40 Years of Transforming the Lives of Children and Youth in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems

The Youth Law Center’s Executive Director Jennifer Rodriguez knows just how hard being a child in the foster care and […more…]

Youth Law Center

Donate now!

(415) 314-4386
Jennifer Rodriguez


The Youth Law Center advocates to transform foster care and juvenile justice systems across the nation so every child and youth can thrive.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

YLC is, quite simply, effective. The team, led by Jennifer Rodriguez, is top notch, bringing together legal expertise, lived experience, a commitment to being youth-centered, and the advocacy chops to effect systemic change. A recent example is the advocacy around out-of-state placements for foster youth. YLC researched 16 facilities housing CA kids and found abuse, neglect, appalling conditions, and rights violations. YLC’s advocacy campaign resulted in the State of CA halting admissions to those facilities and beginning the process to decertify them in favor of family-based placements. Systems change work takes time but is deeply satisfying, and why the Foundation continues to support YLC.
Nancy Wiltsek, MNA
Executive Director, van Loben Sels/RembeRock Foundation
Youth Law Center’s advocacy to prioritize relationships and parenting for children holds great promise for American child welfare policy and practice. Without question, it is the most exciting innovation in child welfare that I have witnessed in my career.
Charles H. Zeanah, Jr, MD
Tulane University Mary Peters Sellars-Polchow
Chair of Psychiatry Vice Chair, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry;
Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics;
Executive Director, Infant Institute

Catalyze Systemic Change That Gives All Children the Opportunity to Flourish

YLC believes all children and youth can thrive with the right support, opportunities, and love. Children and youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system are no exception.

For more than forty years, the Youth Law Center (YLC) has tirelessly advocated to create systemic changes that place these children at the heart of the systems that serve them. YLC works to ensure safe and humane conditions; fights for education and economic opportunities; and strives to create a system where every child has the quality parenting and love necessary to flourish.

The COVID-19 emergency has further disrupted the lives of these already vulnerable youth by preventing access to education, relationships, and healthcare. A donation to the YLC Pandemic Response Campaign will allow us to quickly address these issues through advocacy to ensure basic needs and connection to family, community and opportunity. Together, we can help get these children and youth back on track, and give them the best chance at the future they deserve.

Through December 31, 2022, a portion of every donation will be matched thanks to a generous challenge grant from the Walter S. Johnson Foundation.

Key Supporters

Akonadi Foundation
Alyssa Martin
Bruce Cohen & Gale Mondry
Fatima Goss Graves
Heidi Foreman
Carol and Howard F. Fine
Iris Hu
Jeffrey Ross & Janice Platt
Joy Singleton
Moon & Matthew Gemello
May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
Mehrzad Khajenoori
Babak Naficy
Michael Loeb
Nate Levine & Charlene Akers
Ray Tucker
The California Wellness Foundation
Tipping Point Community
Honorable Tomar Mason
Bill Koski and Sundari Wind
Zellerbach Family Foundation