The Alliance for Children’s Rights is proud to partner with the Hub Clinic at Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center (MLK Hub) to launch a new medical-legal partnership aimed at advancing patient access to legal advocacy and promoting the health and wellbeing of our community’s children in foster care.
Studies show that young people involved with the child welfare system are often exposed to social risk factors that drive pediatric health disparities. Between 35% and 60% of children and young adults enter foster care with at least one chronic medical condition that requires treatment. And far too often, these children and their caregivers experience overwhelming obstacles that commonly block access to urgently needed care—such as challenges obtaining a child’s medical history, working across agencies, Medi-Cal eligibility, service denials, or securing necessary medical consent and authorization.
Due to a higher concentration of children in foster care placed in the communities surrounding the clinic, many caregivers and families are directed to the MLK Hub for their children’s primary health care. This partnership enables our team of advocates—led by Dr. Kimberly Idoko, Director of the Alliance’s Healthcare Program—to connect directly with these patients to provide critical legal and supportive services, including access to physical and mental health care, special education, secure housing, and economic and food support.
“The Alliance’s medical-legal partnership with the MLK Hub Clinic provides an amazing opportunity to meaningfully address many of the social determinants of health that impact so many foster youth,” Dr. Idoko said. “We are excited to make legal advocacy more accessible to many Los Angeles County child welfare system-impacted youth, and we very much look forward to a long-term partnership with Hub staff to improve health outcomes in this vulnerable population.”
Encompassed in this partnership, the Alliance will also provide trainings to support MLK Hub staff in understanding the specialized needs of children in foster care and resources that are available to them. In collaboration, we endeavor to integrate expert legal and medical services to best serve the children and young adults impacted by foster care in our community, building and strengthening a healthy foundation for generations to come.
Our special thanks to the UniHealth Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization whose mission is to support and facilitate activities that significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities within its service area. We are also grateful to the George Hoag Family Foundation for its support of this project.