Celebrating 25 Years of Progress: 1997-2022
How We Started
The Center for Children’s Advocacy was founded in 1997 on a $2,000 budget, in borrowed office space over the boiler room at UConn Law School.
In the 25 years since, CCA has grown to an organization with 25 staff and a $2.8 million operating budget.
CCA is now the largest children’s legal rights organization in New England, with offices in Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport, and projects in Waterbury, Hamden, and Norwalk. Our Mobile Legal Office breaks down barriers to legal services by traveling to meet youth in their home communities.
Since our founding, we have provided individual legal services to thousands of children and youth, and brought about systemic reforms that have benefited many more:
- A redesign of the state’s system for runaways and truants, transforming it from a punitive to a treatment model;
- Changes to camps and other programs so children with disabilities can participate in those programs;
- Child welfare reforms that increased number of foster youth living in family settings;
- Settlement Agreements in Sheff v. O’Neill, which have dramatically increased Hartford children’s access to high quality, integrated schools;
- An overhaul of the state’s alternative school system to create equity in education resources; and
- An improved support system and access to housing for youth experiencing homelessness.
In The Coming Years
Our 25th anniversary is a time to look ahead. A few of the initiatives we are promoting over the next three years include:
- Expand HUSKY health insurance for undocumented children up through age 18
- Reduce racial disparities in educational outcomes
- Increase legal representation for youth aging-out of foster care to get them the supports they need for a successful transition to adulthood
- Implement our Legal Checkup initiative in partnership with community providers to ensure children are receiving the services and supports they are eligible for
- Infuse the juvenile justice and child welfare systems with restorative justice principles
- Expand our Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Pro Bono Attorney Project
Support Our Work
The Center’s growth over the last 25 years would not be possible without our generous supporters, who give to help the Center serve even more vulnerable children in Connecticut.