JustChildren's not so small victories

Won a commitment from the State Board of Education to become one of the first states to include graduation rates as a factor in school accreditation. This supports schools that work to retain students, raising awareness (and the funds the accompany it) of public school retention.

Educated social workers and foster-care providers about the most effective ways to promote education opportunities for children in their care. JustChildren also helped to educate policy makers about the need to promote educational stability for such a vulnerable group of children.

Served as a community organizer to build a core of parent advocates in low-income communities. JustChildren provides them with tools and information needed to improve the education for at-risk children.

Received funds form the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia to become the statewide support center for education advocacy for all legal aid programs in the Commonwealth. JustChildren will provide training to attorneys through the state, manage an education-law task force and listserv, and lead policy reform for low-income students.

Been selected as one of only eight child advocacy organizations to participate in the National Children’s Law Network. Because of this, the Youth Law Center provides funds for increased resources to assist children in the Richmond area involved in the juvenile justice system.

Become a part of the National Campaign 4 Youth Justice, which funds a full-time attorney working with JustChildern, who is exploring ways to reduce the num-ber of juveniles transferred to the Virginia adult correctional system.

Began publishing its handbook "Helping You Help Your Child" for parents and service providers.

Worked with the American Bar Association to publish a report that details the Virginia juvenile justice system’s shortcomings.

Partnered with UVA’s School of Law to run the Child Advocacy Clinic, which allows law students to work with many of the issues facing children in Virginia.

Positive statewide system reforms:

The 2006 state budget amendment that increased per-pupil funding for the Virginia Pre-School Initiative.

The 2007 funding to improve educational opportunities for children in foster care.

The 2005 legislation to insure children leaving Juvenile Correctional Centers received mental health services.

The 2006 Board of Education requirement that children leaving Juvenile Correctional and Detention Centers be immediately enrolled in school.

The 2005-06 legislation requiring children to have access to legal counsel at  their initial detention hearing in juvenile delinquency proceedings.

The 2007 legislation making automatic transfers of juveniles to Circuit Court less frequent. This reduced the numbers of children tried, convicted and confined as adults.