1-Hour Program

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This program offers 1.00 New York State Social Work-CE credits for Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSWs) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs).  Please email a request to PLICredits@pli.edu or leave a comment in your evaluation if you would like Social Work CE for this program. 

The transition to adulthood is a pivotal time in child and adolescent development that can greatly impact a young person’s trajectory in life. For all young people this time is both challenging and full of potential. Yet, young people in foster care uniquely face many obstacles to a successful transition to adulthood, including the trauma they have experienced and the lack of adequate services and supports provided once youth enter the child protection system. High quality legal representation can make a critical difference in the lives and futures of transition aged youth in and leaving foster care.

This Briefing will present a framework for providing high-quality legal representation for transition aged youth (ages 16-26) with the goal of improving outcomes for young people in and leaving foster care as young adults. Participants will leave this presentation with an understanding of adolescent and young adult development, how to engage and partner with young people in their representation, and how to use the law to zealously advocate for their clients.

This session is appropriate for attorneys across the country and will focus on federal law provisions while using some examples from state law that are common across the country.

Topics include:

  • Overview of the challenges and outcomes faced by transition aged youth (5 minutes)
  • Overview of adolescent development and how it impacts representation of transition aged youth (5 minutes)
  • Overview of the federal legal structure for advocating on behalf of transition aged youth (5 minutes)
  • Discussion of permanency and family connections in the transition to adulthood and legal strategies for promoting family connections for youth in foster care (15 minutes)
  • Discussion of the basics of transition planning, with a focus on advocacy strategies to support special populations, including youth with disabilities, pregnant and parenting youth, and youth with juvenile justice system involvement (15 minutes)
  • Advocating for youth in extended foster care (10 minutes)
  • Tips for engaging and partnering with transition aged youth clients with experience in foster care (5 minutes)


Who Should Attend:  Legal aid and legal services advocates, nonprofit lawyers, pro bono attorneys and allied professionals interested in better understanding and representing transition aged youth in and leaving the foster care system

Program Level: Overview

Prerequisites: None

Advanced Preparation: None



Jenny Pokempner, Esq.

Policy Director, Youth Law Center  


Credit Details