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Kristin Kelly

Senior Attorney

Youth Engagement, Education Projects
Kristin Kelly

Kristin Kelly

Image by Mitch Higgins, American Bar Association

Contact Kristin Kelly

Kristin joined the Center in 2006 with a strong interest in child welfare law and policy.  Her work focuses on youth transitioning from foster care, youth empowerment, and the educational needs of children in foster care.  She provides training and technical assistance across the country on these topics, and enjoys working with cross-agency teams to identify challenges and implement concrete program and policy changes. She has authored numerous articles and publications, including the education advocacy chapter of the National Association of Counsel for Children’s textbook, Child Welfare Law and Practice. 

Kristin directs the National Youth Empowerment Project, focused on improving outcomes for older youth in foster care. She is proud to work directly with alumni of care to advocate for changes to the child welfare and court process. “Seeing a room full of judges and attorneys watch a youth panel and hear first-hand the critical importance of youth attending their court hearings is one of my favorite things to watch. You can actually see minds change.”

She is also a staff member of the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, a national technical assistance and training resource and clearinghouse on the educational needs of children in foster care. In this role, Kristin works at the federal, state, and local levels to improve educational outcomes of children in foster care. She worked hard on the first federal child welfare law focused on this topic, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. “Being a lawyer in a family of teachers makes me so proud of this project. It just makes sense.”

Kristin enjoys spending time with her husband and children, and visiting family and friends across the country.