Mission and History


We envision a world in which justice in New York State Family Court is attainable for everyone, fully and equitably—no matter who they are, where they live, or their economic status—because all families deserve the opportunity to create stability, security, and emotional well-being.


LIFT’s mission is to increase access to justice in New York State Family Court. We combine legal guidance, easy-to-access technology, and compassionate support to help unrepresented parents and caregivers self-advocate on critical family law issues, while working on reform that improves the system for everyone.


LIFT was launched inside Manhattan Family Court in 1996, providing on-the-spot help at a table in the lobby where we answered questions and distributed original “know your rights” publications. Before LIFT, sources of information or guidance for self-represented families in the Family Courts were severely limited. Thus, the service LIFT offered was immediately in-demand and has been the basis for our organization’s growth ever since.

Today, LIFT operates innovative, award-winning programs in the Family Courts and in the community, all of which share the goal of promoting positive outcomes for families and children.

Each year we help 25,000 parents and Caregivers- and we remain the only organization in New York City that provides this type of assistance.