The Rights of Youth at Risk Clinic
The Clinic operates within the Faculty of Law. The 20 students who participate use a holistic approach to promote the rights of at-risk children and youth in Israel through three main channels:
- Legal aid and representation for individuals.
- Education and empowerment (Street Law program & legal aid and youth centers).
- Policy change and legislative reform work, based on recurring issues handled by the clinic.
Impact & Achievements (select list)
- In 2018/19, the clinic handled 127 individual legal and other cases, 18 of which required legal representation in court.
- In 2018/19, the clinic advanced 5 policy change initiatives, including the reversal of a decision to close residential care facilities for at-risk young women removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
- In 2018/19, held 50 workshops and two mock trials, in which 100 young offenders participated.
- In 2018/19, operated field activities at 5 drop-in centers for at-risk youth and young adults.
- In 2017/18, a total of 14 cases went to court. The clinic spearheaded four policy change initiatives (including the provision of mental health care to minors without requiring parental consent & the privatization of locked/secure residential facilities).
- In 2017/18 the Street Law program took place at three locations, and comprised 90 workshops and three mock trials.
- Clinic students and staff regularly participate in meetings of the Children’s Rights Committees of both the Knesset and the Israel Bar Association.
- Policy work includes implementation by the government of a proposal to create a compulsory national savings scheme program for all Israeli children.
I remember that at first I didn’t believe you could help me, and you promised you would, and that you will be with me through everything and do whatever you can. I want to thank you for every minute and second you invest in me.
- Client, age 22
Helping an Abandoned Child
The Clinic helped a young woman find housing and receive an “abandoned child” allowance from the National Insurance Institute (NII). The young woman, who had no ongoing or positive contact with her parents, was able to support herself while studying for her matriculation exams.
Saving for Every Child: Including At-Risk Children
The Clinic held a roundtable discussion on including at-risk children in the Saving for Every Child program (the program requires parents enroll their child after birth). Representatives of the Israel National Council for the Child and the Legal Aid Department of the Ministry of Justice participated. As a result, a think-tank was established to ensure that at-risk minors and/or youngsters without parental support benefit from the program.
Mental Healthcare – Without Parental Support
The Clinic aims to submit a draft amendment to the current law, which requires parental approval is required for minors seeking mental health care. The current law prevents many minors from getting much-needed mental health care. The Clinic is examining this issue from the perspective of comparative law in order to draft a proposed amendment.
In the photo: Students from the Rights of Youth at Risk Clinic