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Erica Carroll

2014, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Erica Carroll

Erica Carroll

Name of Host Organization: Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Issue area: Children/Youth, Family Law
Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

The Project

Erica provided comprehensive family law services and education, to pregnant, current parenting, and former foster youth; in order to retain custody and visitation, with their children and break the intergenerational cycle of foster care.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Teen parents confront many challenges including education, child care, housing, and custody. This is all the truer, for pregnant and parenting foster youth—and those recently aged out of the foster care system—who additionally face systemic barriers and often lack family support. Children of parenting foster youth are removed from their parents and placed in foster care themselves at a rate five times higher than the general population. This perpetuates an intergenerational cycle of foster care that causes trauma and destroys family relationships. Family law representation, combined with education about parental rights and responsibilities, provides an element of stability in the lives of pregnant and parenting foster youth, preserving important parent-child relationships.