For most of American history, children were rarely involved in the legal system. The notion of children's legal rights is a modern one, as historically children have been viewed as property, without rights of their own. That began to change with the industrial revolution of the 19th century and the founding of juvenile courts at the beginning of the 20th century. In the 21st century, children do have legal rights, defined by complex state and federal law. Children are also the subjects of millions of judicial proceedings each year. Children are involved in the court system as victims of abuse and neglect, as juvenile offenders, as subjects of custody, visitation and adoption proceedings, and as participants in civil damages litigation.
The NACC is concerned that these proceedings produce justice for children and that the attorneys representing children are well trained and effective.