August 24, 2018

Family Advocacy in Juvenile Court

As detailed in our 2018 report, Families Fighting for Youth Justice, several problems have consistently plagued juvenile courts: lack of communication, lack of respect for families, and lack of meaningful rehabilitative programming.

To address these issues more systematically, Ubuntu established the Parent Navigator Program at Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. Two Parent Navigators are present to orient parents, facilitate communication between parents and other stakeholders, and provide one-on-one support for all families who request it. Our Parent Navigators are parents who have traversed the system themselves, trained by Ubuntu to be peer educators.

As part of a national model for parent participation, this program:

  • Empowers parents to successfully advocate for their children and participate in their children’s plan
  • Expedites the court docket to avoid unnecessary delays
  • Creates trust between the community and the courts
  • Gives parents job skills that will allow them to compete for positions that involve public speaking and facilitation