Shaina Weisbrot

  • Hosted by Day One
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school City University of New York School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Shaina will empower foster-care involved youth to overcome dating violence through specialized legal services and education to youth-serving organizations.

During the transition to adulthood, foster care youth experience systemic barriers to success. One-quarter of foster care alumni become involved with the criminal legal system within two years of leaving care; fewer than 3% of foster care youth earn a college degree and over one fifth face homelessness as adults. Also, the pervasiveness of dating violence in the communities of young people exacerbates adverse outcomes associated with foster care. The combination of these issues impacts foster care youths’ entire life trajectories, resulting in disconnection from the child welfare system and dependence on unhealthy or dangerous partners. Further, there is a critical gap in services for child-welfare involved youth experiencing abusive relationships, which this project seeks to fill. Foster care youth in abusive relationships deserve tailored legal services from attorneys that understand how intimate partner violence (IPV) intersects with the child welfare system.

Fellowship Plans

This project will bring attention to the overlapping challenges of foster care and dating violence that largely remain in the dark. Shaina will represent and advocate for foster care youth in abusive relationships and empower them to end oft-repeated cycles of violence. Shaina will train youth-serving professionals and will provide legal information and options to assist their clients in safely navigating, ending an abusive relationship. Shaina’s goal is to unite service providers in the IPV and child welfare fields to provide a unified front for youth susceptible to violence and to equip staff with another tool to support these youth.

Young people in foster care deserve advocates that partner with them in achieving their healthy relationship goals.

Shaina Weisbrot /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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