Child and Youth Advocacy

JALA provides advocacy and representation on behalf of children and youth in several areas to promote their future self-sufficiency and freedom from abuse.

The areas we handle are listed below.  Please note that as much as we would like to help every client who applies for our services, we cannot accept every case due to limited resources.  Case acceptance will depend on the circumstances of each case, whether all eligibility criteria are met, and staff availability.  On the other hand, if you do not see your legal problem listed, it does not mean we will not consider your case.  We are always interested in learning about new and different issues affecting our community.

We help in three main ways; Education, Emancipation, Juvenile Delinquency, Mental Health and Medical Legal Collaboration. Click topics below to expand for more information.

Exceptional Student Education
We represent children with disabilities in creating and enforcing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to ensure the extra services and resources needed for a quality education.

School Discipline
We represent children with disabilities in school discipline cases to ensure that behaviors associated with disabilities are not being mistaken for intentional misconduct.

We also represent children in school discipline cases who are not provided appropriate notice and hearing.

School Transfers or Disenrollment
We represent homeless children in contesting school transfers or disenrollment based on a child’s loss of housing in the school’s area.

We represent children who have the need and ability to live independently from their parents in becoming emancipated.

Independent Living Benefits

  • Road to Independence Scholarship
  • After-Care Services
  • Transitional Support Services

We represent youth who are aging out of Foster Care in getting and keeping Independent Living Benefits, including Road to Independence Scholarships, After-Care Services, and Transitional Support Services.

We accept court appointment as guardian ad litem for children with mental disabilities in juvenile delinquency cases to ensure that children are not punished for behaviors associated with mental disabilities, but are instead given appropriate treatment.
Residential Mental Health Treatment
We accept court appointment to represent children with mental disabilities who are living in Foster Care in their residential treatment hearings to protect their due process rights and ensure they are receiving appropriate medical treatment.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
We represent children with disabilities in applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases.

We have partnered with the University of Florida Pediatric Faculty at Shands and the Duval County Health Department to offer legal assistance to child patients and their families. Studies have shown that a child’s health problems can get worse when the family is experiencing other problems, such as financial trouble or domestic violence. We represent the family in trying to solve the legal problems which are affecting the child, including family law and domestic violence, housing, or any other legal problem we have the capacity to handle.

Family Law Service Areas

Click topics below for more information.

Apply For Services

Free Family Law Clinics

Clinic Calendar

Thu 27

Dissolution of Marriage- Without Children Clinic

April 27 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid 126 W. Adams Street Jacksonville FL 32202 9043568371
Thu 27

Dissolution of Marriage- With Children Clinic

April 27 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid 126 W. Adams Street Jacksonville FL 32202 9043568371
May 11

Child Support Modifications and Custody/Time-sharing/Paternity Clinic

May 11 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid 126 W. Adams Street Jacksonville FL 32202 9043568371