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Mark Your Calendar for the next Children's
Advocates' Roundtable: Aug. 30, 2018 — agenda coming soon!
- CAI Joins Amici Curiae Brief Challenging the Separation of Children from Their Parents During Immigration Detention / View memorandum in support of motion (2018)
- The Hill Publishes OpEd by CAI's Bob Fellmeth on Facebook's Failure to Protect Disclosures of Teen Users (May 11, 2018)
- CAI Releases 2017 Annual Report (May 11, 2018)
- ABC7 News Sacramento story on lead paint ballot initiative, featuring comments by CAI's Ed Howard (May 3, 2018)
- Sacramento Bee Features OpEd by CAI's Ed Howard on AB 2511 (Chau), Regarding Children's Online Privacy Rights (Apr. 27, 2018)
- CAI Releases 2017 Children's Legislative Report Card (Apr. 6, 2018)
- CAI's Ed Howard and Assembly Leaders Announce Package of Legislation to Take on Toxic Lead Paint (Mar. 22, 2018)
- CAI quoted in LA Times article on California lawmakers attempt to stymie ballot initiative that would hand taxpayers the bill for lead paint cleanup (Mar. 22, 2018)
- CAI-Sponsored Bill Seeks to Improve Services and Placements for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (Mar. 9, 2018)
- CAI-Sponsored Bill Seeks to Protect Children's Online Privacy (Feb. 15, 2018)
- CAI-Sponsored Bill Seeks to Increase Fines or Penalties Awarded in Civil Actions Brought on Behalf of Minors (Feb. 8, 2018)
- CAI Releases Steps Forward: First Progress Report on Within Our Reach, A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, the Final Report of the Federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities View full report / View Executive Summary / View Press Release (Jan.31, 2018)
- CAI Releases Failing U: Do State Laws Protect Our Veterans and Other Students from For-Profit Postsecondary Predators? View press release / View Fact Sheet (Jan. 22, 2018) / CAI OpEd (Jan. 30, 2018)
- CAI's Amy Harfeld Speaks at People's Filibuster at the U.S. Capitol (Nov. 30, 2017)
- CAI's Ed Howard featured in press re CHIP expiration (Nov. 29, 2017)
- NACC's The Guardian Features Article by CAI's Amy Harfeld on the Child Welfare Oversight and Accountability Act (Nov. 27, 2017)
- CAI's Robert Fellmeth Featured on Ralph Nader Radio Hour (July 1, 2017)
- Voices Around the State Demand that Policymakers Ensure Appropriate Caseloads for Attorneys Representing Abused and Neglected Children (June 2017)
- Help CAI Stop the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children by Supporting AB 1495 (Maienschein): View Fact Sheet / Sample Support Letter / Press Release (Apr. 12, 2017)
- Juvenile & Family Court Journal Publishes Article Co-Written by CAI's Amy Harfeld, Making America's Children Safe Again (Mar. 1, 2017)
- CAI Helps Design Resource Family Approval Guide, to Help Caregivers with the Resource Family Approval Process (Feb. 10, 2017)
- The Chronicle of Social Change Features Article by CAI's Amy Harfeld on the Need for IV-E Change (Feb. 1, 2017)
VIEW WHAT'S NEW ARCHIVES
The Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI), founded at the nonprofit University of San Diego School of Law in 1989, is one of the nation's premiere academic, research, and advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of all children and youth, with special emphasis on reforming the child protection and foster care systems and improving outcomes for youth aging out of foster care.
In its academic component, CAI trains law students and attorneys to be effective child advocates throughout their legal careers. Its Child Advocacy Clinic gives USD Law students three distinct clinical opportunities to advocate on behalf of children and youth, and its Dependency Counsel Training Program provides comprehensive training to licensed attorneys engaged in or contemplating Dependency Court practice.
Conducted through its offices in San Diego, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C., CAI's research and advocacy component seeks to leverage change for children and youth through impact litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and public education. Active primarily at the federal and state levels, CAI’s efforts are multi-faceted — comprehensively and successfully embracing all tools of public interest advocacy to improve the lives of children and youth.
CAI's accomplishments and projects
include the following:
- first-in-the-nation litigation challenging a state's reimbursements to foster parents as being so low as to dissuade foster parents from caring for abused and neglected children.
- landmark legislation opening up state and county child protective services practices to public scrutiny when children die from abuse or neglect -- legislation that has prompted sweeping administrative reforms in at least two California counties.
- legislation requiring foster children who age out of the juvenile justice system to be provided the same program eligibility assistance as those who age out of the dependency system.
- path-breaking litigation challenging the judiciary's policy of imposing caseloads on lawyers for abused and neglected children that are up to twice what the judiciary itself says is the practical maximum.
- legislation prompting the nation's largest county to treat sexually exploited minors as victims rather than criminals.
- creation of the innovative Transition Life Coach proposal designed to provide services, resources and mentoring to former foster youth as they make the difficult transition to adulthood and self-sufficiency.
- administration of an annual program recognizing the state's news outlets for their coverage of children's issues.
- litigation ensuring that Social Security payments benefitting foster children are disbursed based upon the child's best interests.
- operation of a program of direct outreach to San Diego County's homeless youth, aiding them in obtaining benefits and services, and protecting their rights in court and before administrative agencies.
- exhaustively documenting the failure of Proposition 63 -- the Mental health Services Act -- to provide any significant benefits to the population of transition age youth with the greatest mental health needs -- former foster children.
- implementation of Kids' Plates, a personalized vehicle license plates program whose proceeds are earmarked for child abuse prevention, child injury prevention programs, and child care regulation;
- legislation to require children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle;
- research and evaluation of a pilot project substituting a single, interdisciplinary interview of a child abuse victim for repeated interrogations by multiple interviewers;
- coordination and leadership of the Children’s Advocates Roundtable, a network of 300 statewide and regional child policy organizations representing over twenty issue disciplines;
- creation of the Child Advocacy Clinic, a unique academic opportunity for law students to work on dependency or delinquency court cases under the supervision of an attorney, or on a variety of policy projects with a CAI attorney or other professional staff;
- operation of the Information Clearinghouse on Children, which works to stimulate accurate and meaningful discussion of child-related topics by the media and policymakers.
View CAI Program Overview
CAI Video: Celebrating 25 Years of Accomplishments for Children
CAI Video: What We Do and Why We Do It