Navigating the legal system can be a daunting task for parents and their children, especially in Southern California. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help families find the legal services they need. All California higher courts have free legal self-help programs, which provide legal information and assistance to those without a lawyer. The State Bar Association also funds legal aid organizations across the state that provide legal services to Californians with low and moderate incomes.
These organizations specialize in a variety of issues, from family law and custody to the rights of people with disabilities and veterans' benefits. In addition to these resources, there are a number of other service providers that can help families find the legal services they need. The Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Bernardino County Superior Court, Orange County Superior Court, Ventura County Superior Court, and San Diego County Superior Court all offer free legal assistance. Other organizations such as LAFLA, Bet Tzedek, Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions, Los Angeles County Child Abuse Hotline, LA County Domestic Violence Hotline, Sexual Assault Hotline, Suicide Crisis Hotline, Animal Protection Services, Adult Protective Services, Elder Abuse Hotline (for reporting elder abuse in Los Angeles County), Neighborhood Legal Services, Inland County Legal Services, Riverside Branch Office, Rancho Cucamonga Branch Office, Indio Branch Office, Victorville Branch Office, Buena Fe Mediation Services, Loyola Law School Dispute Resolution Center, Bet Tzedek Legal Services (wills only), Long Beach Court Probate Program, 211 or 800-339-6993 (for referrals to appropriate shelter resources, health information and social services in Los Angeles County), and The Child Care Law Center of California can also provide assistance. The Child Care Law Center of California is dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to safe and healthy child care. Their lawyers work to break down the legal barriers that stand between families in need and good, affordable child care.
They provide legal information and referrals as well as educate parents and child care providers on their rights. They also advise advocates and policy makers on federal and state grants, regulation and licensing, civil rights and disability rights. The Children's Law Center of California is another organization that provides legal services for children at risk of abuse or neglect in juvenile dependency proceedings. Their lawyers are committed to advocating for the critical services and support these children need. They have expertise in a variety of areas such as negotiation and mediation skills, legal research and writing, judicial skills as well as non-legal areas related to the well-being of children such as child development, health and mental health. Finally, the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) is based in Oakland and leads high-impact campaigns that combine litigation, research, public awareness, policy development and technical assistance.
Their goal is to transform public systems that serve vulnerable children so they receive the support they need to advance and thrive.