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The Commission addresses youth legal needs by: (1) Increasing the capacity and accessibility of legal representation for youth; (2) Improving the quality of legal representation for youth; and (3) Engaging in policy reform efforts on behalf of children and youth.

Areas of Focus

The Commission's work focuses on six areas, as recommended by an interdisciplinary group of professionals and youth at the Youth at Risk Planning Conference held in February 2006.

View the Commission's - Areas of Focus

Coordination with the Center

In 2018, the Commission on Youth at Risk became a part of the ABA Center on Children and the Law. The Commission contributes a critical component of ABA member engagement to the Center’s work by elevating child and youth law topics in the legal profession within and outside the ABA. Commission member responsibilities include: 1) Setting the ABA’s national policy agenda on child and youth law; 2) Ensuring the ABA speaks with a unified and coordinated voice on child and youth law topics; and 3) Developing presentations to engage and inform the legal field about child and youth law.


Every year the ABA President appoints 16 Commission members and 12 Advisory Committee members to the Commission. These members represent diverse personal and professional backgrounds and a range of jurisdictions throughout the country.

Members and Leadership

ABA Family Integrity & Family Unity Policy

This new ABA policy recognizes that children and parents have rights to family integrity and family unity. Its provisions emphasize the role of the legal system in efforts to preserve families and maintain family connectedness during child welfare system involvement.

Family Integrity Policy - Learn More