Home for Good Initiative:

Immigration Defense, Criminal Defense, and Housing & Public Benefits (Civil Defense)

Home for Good gives clients efficient, coordinated legal and social work support in areas that are collateral to their ACS prosecution but that can complicate it.

Parents facing ACS prosecutions do not experience problems in neat silos. They confront several interrelated issues, rooted in poverty, such as homelessness or unstable housing, interruptions in public benefits, criminal charges, financial insecurity, or immigration problems. These collateral issues have the potential to undermine a family’s success, cause children to enter foster care or delay their return home. In addition, they result in other serious legal problems that need to be resolved in different courts or through complicated bureaucratic administrative procedures.

We launched Home for Good in 2015 after conducting extensive surveys with family defense clients and staff. Most years, at least 1/3 of our clients face criminal charges, 25% will become homeless and close to 1/3 identify as non-citizens. These challenges usually need to be resolved in different courts or through complicated administrative procedures. Many clients had to navigate several large public systems, often simultaneously. Prior to Home for Good, clients had to access attorneys or other professionals in other organizations to help with this, who had long waiting lists and who typically lacked knowledge of the family defense case, often making things worse. But now, any team working with any client can give that client coordinated, integrated legal and social work services in Immigration Defense, Criminal Defense, and Housing & Public Benefits advocacy. Together, these specialized staff insure that children and youth stay Home for Good.

Read our Client Needs Assessment from Action Research Partners that helped launch our Home for Good initiative.