diversion: Boy with backpack facing empty road.

Youth in Foster Care Deserve Greater Chance to Enter Diversion Programs

Over the past two decades, I have had the extraordinary experience of working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system. I am thrilled to bear witness as Los Angeles County finally moves toward using diversion programs to keep kids out of juvenile justice and in school and at home where they belong.

Advocates Hope NY Court Ruling on Warrants for Foster Youth Leads to Reform

Christina Young remembers the day the cops came for her at school.

She was fifteen years old — a sophomore at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business in lower Manhattan. She and four of her friends were sitting together at a table in the school’s large and chaotic cafeteria.

Man skateboards past billboards about new condos.

Can Washington State Keep Youth Off the Streets After They Leave Detention?

By the age of 17, David Vanwetter had been in and out of detention perhaps a dozen times.
Washington state is vowing to keep young people like Vanwetter — often with complicated and troubled lives — from becoming homeless after they exit the jailhouse door. The state Legislature has ambitiously pledged to stop releasing youth from “publicly funded systems of care” — juvenile detention, foster care and mental health and drug treatment — into homelessness by the end of 2020. And that doesn’t mean putting them in a cab to a homeless shelter: Youth must have “safe and stable housing,” the law says.

recovery: Portrait of young man in ball cap, necklace looking out at the city.

My Sad, Bad Past No Longer Defines Me, Thanks to Recovery

When I took my first breath in this world, it was while being placed into the arms of a child herself. A drug-addicted and alcoholic mother at the age of just 16 and, needless to say, my mother was a very reckless, sad, incapable parent.