The report by former Soros Fellow Christina K. Sorenson shines a light on the deficiencies in grievance procedures for youth in the system
“I hope this report will inspire jurisdictions to adopt adequate youth-centered grievance protections that create space for more youth to break through the barriers to being seen, heard, and protected,” said Sorenson. That work is already underway. This past year, Juvenile Law Center, with leadership from young people in Advocates for Youth Justice, was instrumental in the creation of a Youth Ombudsperson Office for the city of Philadelphia. The organization is partnering with other groups in Pennsylvania to create a statewide Office for the Child Advocate.
Juvenile Law Center recognizes the importance of reporting and oversight to keep young people safe, and ultimately to prevent system involvement and out-of-home placement. According to Juvenile Law Center Senior Managing Director Jessica Feierman, “Across the country, children in institutional placements face physical, sexual, and emotional abuse – and then they are silenced about it. This publication highlights policies that would instead center youth voices and provide young people with greater power over their individual and collective circumstances.”