Excellence in Advocacy
Children’s Law Center of California (CLC) provides legal representation for children and youth impacted by abuse and neglect. We advocate for our clients by supporting families; fighting for reunification, permanence, educational opportunity, health, and mental health wellness; and empowering and strengthening children, families, and their communities. Our informed approach to advocacy makes us a powerful voice in local, statewide, and national child welfare system reform.
We are committed to the holistic representation of our clients – understanding that positive outcomes are not determined solely by a legal outcome but also by a child’s overall well-being and experience within the child welfare system. To realize our shared vision of achieving excellence in child advocacy, we uphold the following principles:
VOICE. We are respectful and responsive to the voice of the client and advocate for our clients’ active participation. We ensure our clients have a voice throughout the legal process.
RESPECT. We are dedicated to promoting equality, respect, and dignity among all people. This includes understanding family dynamics and family history. We view children within the context of their families. We promote a trauma-informed practice.
BELONGING. We strive to keep families together. We believe every child deserves loving and permanent relationships. Every child deserves to feel safe, wanted, loved, and heard, and we accept each child for who they are and honor their individuality. We celebrate the communities with which they identify and foster community connections.
ACCESS. Every child deserves meaningful access to education, safe housing, health, and mental health care. We advocate for justice, inclusion, and full community participation, removing barriers, real or perceived, to encourage the widest possible participation.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION. We believe in racial justice and equity in the child welfare system. Through our practice, we strive to dismantle structural racism and implicit and explicit bias that leads to disproportionality and disparate outcomes for Black and Native American families in child welfare. We work to remedy structural inequities for Black, Latino, Native American, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, those living in poverty, and other individuals and groups that have been traditionally unheard and historically devalued or excluded.
CULTURAL HUMILITY AND HONOR. We honor each child’s heritage, culture, and traditions, and are committed to learning from and lifting the voices of our clients. We encourage our employees to bring their unique, whole selves to the work. Our workplace strives to reflect the communities we serve, and we seek dedicated professionals with varied backgrounds and perspectives, including those with lived experience. We recognize the impact of continuous exposure to trauma on our staff and encourage employees to maintain a regular practice of self-care.