Legal Advocates for Children & Youth (LACY)

Legal Advocates for Children & Youth (LACY) advances the legal rights of children and youth, empowering them to lead healthy and productive lives. We listen to, advise, and advocate for our clients to ensure their voices are heard and their rights are protected.

We provide: Free and confidential legal assistance to children and youth in juvenile dependency, family law, probate guardianship, education matters and numerous other practice areas; advocacy to improve court and community systems designed to protect and promote child welfare; and workshops to educate youth, parents, caregivers and members of the community about issues impacting child welfare and legal rights.

LACY Intake Line: (408) 280-2416

LACY Fax: (408) 288-8850


Among the issues we address are: 

  • We provide legal and social work services to children and youth up to age 21 who are, are suspected of being, or are at high risk of being commercially sexually exploited.
  • Through our Educational Empowerment Project we assist students and their caregivers in school enrollment, school discipline, and special education matters.
  • Educate minors, parents, and service providers on the realities of emancipation. LACY represents minors who qualify for emancipation in the court process.
  • Establish guardianships and prevent minors from entering the foster care system. Additionally, LACY is periodically appointed by local courts to represent children in contested guardianship proceedings.
  • LACY annually represents approximately 2,000 children and youth who are victims of child abuse or neglect.
  • Our attorneys are on-site at three medical facilities operated by the Valley Medical Center, Santa Clara County’s largest public hospital. We assist patients in the pediatrics clinic, and their families, with legal issues that impacts children’s health and well-being.
  • LACY serves as an independent review panel for immigrant foster children placed through Catholic Charities.
  • We provide representation and education for pregnant and parenting teens on paternity, child custody and support, visitation matters, and seek restraining orders for teen victims of dating violence.
  • We provide legal assistance to current and former foster youth, ages 14 to 24, as they move from the foster care system to independent adulthood.