Youth Legal Services
(formerly referred to as Unaccompanied Undocumented Minors (UUM) Program)
Beginning in SFY 2022-2023, CDSS renamed the UUM program to Youth Legal Services (YLS) to be more inclusive of all the youth served under this program. The five-year grant started July 1, 2022, and will end December 31, 2027, with five one-year budget cycles.
The Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) sections 13300-13307 authorize the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to provide grants to qualified nonprofit legal services organizations to provide legal services to eligible Unaccompanied Undocumented Minors, as defined in Section 279(g)(2) of Title 6 of the United States Code, and other Immigrant Youth (IY). CDSS will award $2.9 million under WIC section 13300 to qualified nonprofits to assist UUMs in the physical custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in California or who are residing with a family member or other sponsor in the state after release from ORR custody. Beginning in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23, CDSS will award $1.3 million under WIC section 13303 to provide removal defense services to IY who have not been processed by or held in the custody of the ORR.
The funding for legal services is for the purpose of providing legal representation for UUMs and IYs in the filing of, preparation for, and representation in administrative and/or judicial proceedings for the following immigration statuses: Asylum, T-Visa, U-Visa, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or other immigration remedies available to these populations. Legal services include culturally, and linguistically appropriate services provided by attorneys, paralegals, interpreters and other support staff for state court proceedings, federal immigration proceedings, and any appeals arising from those proceedings.
The CDSS Immigration Services Bureau announced the recipients of the YLS program funding for SFY 2022-23. CDSS allocated $4,200,000 to renew funds for pro-bono legal services for the period of July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. The SFY 2023-24 awarded nonprofit organizations are detailed in the FY 2022-23 UUM Funding Award Announcement. Note that there were no changes to the funding awards for the SFY 2023-24. For the duration of the grant term, the program will remain closed to the public. New organizations wishing to participate will have an opportunity to apply during the next open grant cycle in FY 2027-2028.
The SFY 2022-23 UUM Legal Services Funding Request for Application (RFA) period is closed. Final YLS award announcements released January 2023. The current YLS, five (5) year grant cycle is through FY 2026-27. Next open grant cycle will be FY 2027-28.
Awarded Organizations by Fiscal Year
Submit any YLS Program related questions to YLSProgram@dss.ca.gov