Legal and Judicial Resources

Legal and Judicial Resources

The Bar-Youth Empowerment has developed many materials to support attorneys, judges, CASAs, GALs and other stakeholders with meaningfully and appropriately involving youth in their court hearings and case planning.

The Bar-Youth Empowerment Project has developed a formal Training and Technical Assistance Package that includes a number of helpful materials for lawyers and judges.

We have developed a series of benchcards that are designed to assist judges with meaningfully involving youth in their court hearings. Please click on each of the following links to download the benchcards:

We have developed a “Top Concerns” document which details some of the most frequent concerns with involving youth in their court hearings, as well as suggested solutions to these actual or perceived barriers.

To access the PowerPoint presentation from the Cook County "Joining Forces Training" from September 13-14, please click here.

Andrea Khoury, Project Director for the Bar-Youth Project, has written a number of helpful articles about youth involvement in court and also provides training and technical assistance.

  • Seen and Heard: Involving Children in Dependency Court
    This article includes an overview of national policies addressing children's participation in court, followed by discussion of the benefits of such participation. It then offers concrete suggestions for reforming practice, policy, and systems to better engage youth in the court process.
  • With Me, Not Without Me: How to Involve Children in Court
    This article offers tips to help lawyers and judges prepare for children's involvement in child welfare proceeding by: court making courtroom accommodations that help children feel comfortable participating in the court process and asking age-appropriate questions to obtain information from children that will aid the decision-making process.
  • Seen and Heard: Involving Children in Dependency Court
    This PowerPoint presentation, developed by Andrea Khoury, reflects the information covered her Child Law Practice article, Seen and Heard: Involving Children in Dependency Court. It includes policies of National Judicial and Bar Associations, information about what is happening around the country related to this issue, and a discussion of benefits when youth participate, policy and practice considerations, tips for involving youth in court proceedings, and systemic changes to increase youth participation in court.

Resources for Youth

Your opinion matters! It is important that you are asked about your needs and wants and attend court so the judge can listen to you. The following resources are designed to help you understand the importance of attending court and being actively involved in your case.

There are a lot of things to think about and do when you leave foster care. You may be applying to go to college or looking for a job. You may be renting your first apartment or opening your first bank account. You may want to talk to other people who have gone through the same thing. Below are some resources that will help you make the transition to moving out on your own a little easier and connect you to some organizations that may be helpful along the way.

The Bar-Youth Empowerment Project, in partnership with Florida’s Children First, has developed a “know your rights” manual for youth. The booklet is designed to help youth in Florida prepare for the transition to independence.

If you have any questions or think there is anything we should add to this webpage, please email Linda.Britton@americanbar.org

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