There are many reasons why children and families find themselves in the juvenile court system, but for those struggling to find a way out, the fundamental obstacle is poverty. We see all too many cases of individuals who cannot stay in school or hold down a job because they lack the basic resources for a stable life. They may have experienced homelessness, food insecurity, inadequate education or training, physical disabilities, trauma, or mental health or cognitive challenges.
Others may be victims of domestic violence, substance abuse or a hostile divorce—issues that cut across social and economic status, but which become all the more difficult to overcome when money is scarce. School truancy, one of the main entry points to the juvenile court system, is often prompted by trouble at home or bullying in the classroom.
We may not be miracle workers, but we are agents of positive change. A small, targeted assistance can have a powerful impact. It can help an individual in crisis take a crucial step toward personal transformation. When you have food, or the heating is put back on, you can regain the strength to believe in yourself. And that’s when real change begins.