May 12, 2010


This report was written and researched by Elizabeth Calvin, senior advocate, Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. Kennji Kizuka and Kyle Knight, associates for Children’s Rights Division, provided significant research, administrative, and other help. Ruchika Budhraja, an intern with Human Rights Watch in Los Angeles, provided substantial help in research and other support for the report.

We thank the many young people who shared their experiences for this report.

We are grateful for the help of Heather Carmichael, associate executive director for My Friend’s Place; Sharon Hawkins -Leyden, director of the Youth Emergency Assistance Hostel; Jody Stein, J.D.; Patty Williams, photographer; Polly Williams, president of United Friends of the Children; and Shaun Zigler foster youth services program manager for San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and Los Angeles Human Rights Watch interns Christine Back, Christine Talbo, and Christina Yang.  The California Human Rights Watch staff, including Hava Manasse, Libby Marsh, Caitlin McAdam, and Tiffany Siart, provided other invaluable help.

In addition, Heather Carmichael; Camille Joseph, of the Los Angeles Human Rights Watch office; Miriam Krinsky, lecturer, UCLA School of Public Affairs and member, ABA Youth at Risk Advisory Council; Natalie Leimkuhler; Amy Lemley, policy director for the John Burton Foundation; Sabina Mayo-Smith, MSW; Professor Wendy Smith Meyer; and Jennifer Rodriguez, staff attorney at the Youth Law Center all reviewed and commented on the manuscript.

Zama Coursen-Neff, deputy director, and Lois Whitman, director of the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch edited the report. David Fathi, director of the US Program and Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program of Human Rights Watch reviewed the report.  Cassandra Cavanaugh, consultant to the Program office, Andrew Mawson, deputy program director, and Aisling Reidy, senior legal advisor, provided legal and program review.

Production assistance was provided by Kyle Knight; Anna Lopriore, creative manager; Grace Choi, publications director and Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager.