Children’s Law Center of California (CLC) disputes several inaccuracies contained in a report entitled “Out of Sight, Out of Mind When Children in Foster Care in California Don’t Meet Their Court Appointed Attorneys” released April 16 by Advokids, Western Center on Law and Poverty, and Akin Gump.

Unfortunately, the publication relies on flawed methodology, faulty data, and incorrect assumptions drawn from that same data. As an example, the sample size of just over 1,000 responses is inadequate to be considered representative of California’s child welfare population of more than 50,000 children and their caregivers.   

We do agree with the drafters that “The legal representation of children and youth in foster care is an integral and essential aspect of the state’s and counties’ responsibilities to protect the interests and support the well-being of abused and neglected children.” That is why, for over 30 years, CLC has taken our responsibility to maintain contact with children and their caregivers very seriously. 

From July 1, 2021 – December 18, 2023, of the 23,959 new clients Children’s Law Center of California (“CLC”) was appointed to represent, 23,881 (>99%) met with either their attorney, the attorney’s agent (mostly younger, non-verbal clients) or both in-person.

CLC has issued a full response along with other dependency counsel organizations which serve as the court-appointed attorneys for over 28,000 children, approximately 60% of the children in California who are in foster care, non-minor dependents in Extended Foster Care, and youth who reside with their parent(s) under court supervision.

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