Advocating for the Most Connected Placement: A Guide to Reducing the Use of Group Care

Juvenile Law Center, Youth Law Center,

This guide is intended to be a practical tool that can be used by attorneys and advocates to ensure that youth are in the “most connected placements.” These are living settings where youth can be connected with their family, the community, and a support system rather than group or institutional care. These settings provide what youth need for healthy development and give them the best chance for achieving permanency.

The tool takes advocates through questions to guide their analysis and advocacy as they confront situations where youth are not in the most connected placement and instead are being moved to or continue in group settings. Each section provides concrete suggestions for actions advocates can take in and out of court to their clients in the most connected placements where they can have their needs met and thrive.

It also provides the legal and social science authority to support the suggested actions. Actions range from filing motions, holding hearings, researching licensing complaints of facilities, filing grievances and inviting family members and youth to team meetings related to placement changes.