Advocacy, Access, Accountability for California Foster Children.
Our History and Vision
Advokids was founded in 1993 by three San Francisco Bay Area child welfare attorneys and a child psychologist. They responded to the alarming number of children entering foster care, experiencing multiple placements, and lingering in temporary care, often for several years.
The founders brought their legal, psychological, and social work training and experience to Advokids. Their experience taught them that the early years of a child’s life set the stage for all that follows and hold the greatest danger for long-term damage and the greatest potential for successful intervention.
California had already adopted progressive laws requiring the courts to pay special attention to the permanency needs of children in foster care, but the laws were poorly implemented. Using the legislative mandates and the strong childhood mental health data that supported every child’s need for timely permanence, the co-founders set out to hold the foster care system accountable. They launched a free telephone hotline, created a legal educational website, and began conducting regular legal trainings for attorneys and child welfare professionals.
Since Advokids was founded, there has been an explosion of research on early childhood development. Current neuroscience research has confirmed the devastating effects that instability and placement disruptions have on the brain development of children. Advokids’ hotline, website, and legal trainings equip child advocates with the legal and scientific principles that they need so that they can more effectively advocate for the well-being of the child and encourage persistent judicial focus on every foster child’s need for safety, emotional security, and developmental health.