Children’s Law Center of Minnesota promotes the legal rights and well-being of children and youth. CLC’s staff and volunteers provide direct representation of children and youth, primarily in the child welfare system, and advocate for changes in the systems that affect their lives.
Impact and Programs
Children's Law Center for Minnesota (CLC) upholds youth’s rights, advocates for their voice to be heard and believed while experiencing the complex child welfare legal system. Despite the global pandemic, we never stopped representing our clients both inside and outside their virtual courtrooms. CLC remains grounded in our work of advocating for children’s rights in tandem with our team of over 323 active volunteer attorneys, represented 701 children in court in 2021.
CLC saw 248 cases to close due to our clients successfully being reunified with their families, being adopted into stable caring homes, or aging out of the foster care system. CLC released a checklist along with other resources for our volunteer attorneys to advocate for the rights of youth as they transition to adulthood.
Our clients’ high school graduation achievement is a metric that demonstrates the efficacy of our representation and the attorney/client relationship. In 2021, 75% of eligible high school clients graduated from High School. CLC established Interim Case Reviews for our clients who have been in foster care the longest and are between the ages of 14-17. Attorneys also advocated fiercely for older youth to remain in the extended foster care program that serves 18-21 year old young adults.
1. To represent 95% of our active clients to a permanency plan, whether it be adoption, independent living, or reunification.
2. To provide foster children with the consistency and support needed to finish high school and find employment so they will transition into successful community members. Our goal is that 70% of our clients will graduate from High School.
3. To provide nuanced training for our current volunteer attorneys to adapt representing youth during the global pandemic, and virtual training for new attorneys.
4. To provide more than 800 youth (ages 10-21) in the child protection system with consistent, high-quality, direct legal representation and service advocacy.
Community or Constituency Served
CLC serves children ages 10-21 in the child protection system, primarily in Ramsey and Hennepin counties. All of our young clients live in poverty, and are children and teens whose lives and healthy growth are interrupted by trauma and abuse. These young people are also more likely to identify as LGBTQIA. 84% of our clients identify as BIPOC, 52% are part of sibling groups, and 30% are children with disabilities.
Geographic Area Served
Our clients are primarily in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, although our advocacy and outreach extends state-wide.