Supporting Vulnerable Youth in the Juvenile Court System
Many of our community’s most vulnerable youth are in Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency Courts. The team of judges, attorneys, and social workers who interact with them on a regular basis are in a unique position to identify the critical needs of these youth. PVF’s Juvenile Judges Program aims to leverage this by providing grants to these professionals to support the needs of their juvenile clients.
Though small, these immediate-response grants can make a profound difference in the lives of individual youth. The judges’ abilities to identify needs and address them on the spot can stop a problem from turning into an emergency. Requests from judges are varied, ranging from winter clothing to bus passes for foster youth, and utility bill payments to emergency cell phones for families in crisis.
In addition to supporting critical needs, these grants are also used as motivational incentives for youth. For example, one grant we funded went to support youth in Santa Clara County who participated in a CPR training at Opportunity Court. Opportunity Court is a monthly off-site court session that gives families and youth who are part of the Juvenile Justice System an opportunity to meet with community service providers. At the end of this training, the youth received 2-year CPR certifications as well as a Target gift card – provided by PVF – as a reward for completing the training. We frequently provide gift cards to be distributed to youth in Opportunity Court to encourage their attendance and stay on track.
Whether addressing critical needs or providing motivational incentives, Juvenile Judge Grants are designed to reach our community’s most vulnerable youth and show them support when it is most needed.