The Young People’s Programme’s aim is to make sure that every young person has access to the legal advice they need

What Law Centre clients say: 

“I am now going to University in September- all thanks to the advice I received”.

“I think without the Law Centre I would be lost. Now I just live for my baby and do my best.”

“They (the Law Centre) are different from everywhere else because they don’t just shove a form at you and tell you to go away. They spend time with you and you feel they are interested in you.”

“This (partnership with the Law Centre) is the best thing we’ve done as a service – the feedback from young people has been very positive. We were never able to get young people housed before we had the legal advice service …….it provides the solution” [Connexions Personal Advisor]

Law Centres know from experience that young people have high unmet needs for legal advice. Youth Access evidence shows that 16–24-year-olds experience at least 2.3 million rights-related problems requiring advice a year.

Legal services for young people

The Young People’s Programme working with Law Centres has pioneered groundbreaking legal advice services for young people which are youth focused, high quality, and accessible. Our Rights Within Reach Report, co-written with Youth Access provides a blueprint for these services. Read the report here.

15 London Law Centres now deliver a pan London Youth Homelessness Service and a pan-London Education Advice service, through partnerships with local youth providers and outreach from youth venues.

The Young People’s Programme has now received funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to expand young people’s legal advice services across the country and by areas of legal advice, as well as rolling out ambitious youth participation plans, including apprenticeships.

Young people use legal services when their lives are in transition, when they are homeless, excluded from school, struggling with their asylum/immigration status, living independently for the first time. Our services achieve incredible outcomes for young people, transforming and even saving lives.

Helping turn lives around

Young volunteers conducted Youth Access Outcomes Interviews on a sample of clients across the London Law Centres’ Youth Homelessness Projects.

Young people reported improvements in the following areas of their lives:

  • Housing (76%) 
  • Knowledge about where to get help (88%)
  • Levels of stress (70%)
  • Confidence (64%)
  • Health (34%)
  • Money situation (35% )
  • Their behaviour (48%)
  • Involvement in training, education or employment (35%)

For more information about Law Centres’ young people’s legal services in your area, please contact Carolyn at carolyn@lawcentres.org.uk.

Policy and campaigning work

As well as supporting over 8,000 disadvantaged young people, the Young People’s Project works strategically to bring about change for all children and young people. Law Centres Network is a founder member of the JustRights campaign which lobbies for access to justice for all children and young people. The campaign website is available at www.justrights.org.uk

The Young People's Programme has conducted a review of the way that local authorities support 16- and 17-year old young people who are homeless. The review, conducted with the assistance of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, covered 138 of England's 144 local authorities. It analysed their local joint working protocols and proposed steps for improving treatment of homeless young people.

To follow up on this report, LCN has published a 'child-friendly' guide to help homeless 16- and 17-year-olds know their rights and find their way through to available help.

Click here to see our reports on children and young people and for them.