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This site was archived January 1, 2018 and is no longer updated.

Juvenile Law Center

Added Feb 2, 2009

1315 Walnut Street
The Philadelphia Building, 4th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone (215) 625-0551

Founded in 1975, Juvenile Law Center is the oldest multi-issue public interest law firm for children in the United States. With an approach grounded in principles of adolescent development, Juvenile Law Center uses the law on behalf of youth in the child welfare and criminal and juvenile justice systems to promote fairness, prevent harm, ensure access to appropriate services and create opportunities. Juvenile Law Center uses an array of legal and other advocacy strategies to ensure that the child welfare, juvenile justice, and other public systems provide vulnerable children with the protection and services they need to become healthy and productive adults.

Partners and clients

Juvenile Law Center works on behalf of children who have come within the purview of public agencies, chiefly in Pennsylvania but also nationally. Juvenile Law Center staff works with the courts and agencies that serve children, with legislators and policymakers, and with the general public. They have been both outside advocates and insiders who serve on national, state, and local task forces and committees. Juvenile Law Center is the lead entity for Models for Change in Pennsylvania, and Juvenile Law Center also has lead agency responsibility for Models for Change’s aftercare work in the state.

Strategies and services

Juvenile Law Center has litigated over institutional conditions, due process safeguards, and system financing, and has represented children in hearings involving every public system. It has trained judges, lawyers, and other professionals in over 30 states. It has published materials on system reform, the role of courts and lawyers in improving systems, and financing system change, as well as legal materials for lay people on child abuse and neglect, confidentiality and consent, and the role of counsel for children.

Areas of expertise

Community Organizing and Advocacy, Systems Integration, Policy Analysis, Legal Services.

Reform areas: Aftercare, Juvenile indigent defense, Mental/behavioral health

States: Pennsylvania

Created Feb 02, 2009


Supported by

Models for Change was a juvenile justice systems reform initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.