FOSTER CARE

TAKING CHARGE
OF MY RIGHTS

MY RESPONSIBILITY

AS A YOUTH IN CARE

GETTING SUPPORT:

As a young person in foster care, you have the right:

  1. To know your rights in foster care, to receive a list of those rights in written form and to know how to file a complaint if your rights are being violated.
     

  2. To be told why you came into foster care and why you are still in foster care.
     

  3. To live in a safe and healthy home where you are treated with respect, with your own place to store your things and where you receive healthy food, adequate clothing, and appropriate personal hygiene products.
     

  4. To have personal belongings secure and transported with you.
     

  5. To have caring foster parents or caretakers who are properly trained, have received background checks and screenings, and who receive adequate support from the Agency to help ensure stability in the placement.
     

  6. To be placed in a home with your brothers and sisters when possible, and to maintain regular and unrestricted contact with siblings when separated (including help with transportation), unless ordered by the court.
     

  7. To attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and personal enrichment activities.
     

  8. To have your privacy protected. You can expect confidentiality from the adults involved in your case.
     

  9. To be protected from physical, sexual, emotional or other abuse, including corporal punishment (hitting or spanking as a punishment) and being locked in a room (unless you are in a treatment facility).
     

  10. To receive medical, dental, vision and mental health services.
     

  11. To refuse to take medications, vitamins or herbs, unless prescribed by a doctor.
     

  12. To have an immediate visit after placement and have regular visits ongoing with biological parents and other relatives unless prohibited by court or unless you don’t want to.
     

  13. To make and receive confidential telephone calls and send and receive unopened mail, unless prohibited by court order.
     

  14. To have regular contact from and unrestricted access to caseworkers, attorneys, and advocates and to be allowed to have confidential conversations with such individuals.
     

  15. To be told by your caseworker and your attorney about any changes in your case plan or placement and receive honest information about the decisions the PCSA is making that affect your life.
     

  16. To attend religious services and activities of your choice and to preserve your cultural heritage. If possible your placement should be with a family member or someone from your community with similar religion, culture and/or heritage.
     

  17. To be represented by an attorney at law in administrative or judicial proceedings with access to fair hearing and court review of decisions, so that your best interest are safeguarded.
     

  18. To be involved, where appropriate, in the development of your case plan and to object to any of the provisions of the case plan during case reviews, court hearings and case planning conferences.
     

  19. To attend court and speak to a judge (at a certain age, usually 12) about what you want to have happen in your case.

  20. To have a plan for your future, including an emancipation plan if appropriate (for leaving foster care when you become an adult), and to be provided services to help you prepare to become a successful adult.
     

https://www.fosterclub.com/article/your-rights-foster-care

 

GLOSSARY:

Adjudicatory Hearing - a hearing held in juvenile courts during which a judge or magistrate will determine whether or not the facts presented at court are true or not. There is no finding of guilt or innocence.

 

Emancipate - the legal term used when a youth has reached the age of 18 and is no longer under the care, supervision or custody of the child welfare system.

 

Entitlement - a government program that provides benefits to any individual meeting certain eligibility requirements.

 

Grievance Procedures - the process by which complaints or wrong-doings are filed, processed and followed through on within an organization in an effort to resolve conflict.

 

Legal Custodian - person(s) who a court has granted legal authority and responsibility to for the purpose of making caring for a youth and to make major decisions for the youth (i.e. medical, education, religious, education, etc.).

 

Medical Proxy - a person who has been identified and legally documented to be able to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so.

 

Opt-In - to decide/choose that you want to do or participate in something.

 

Permanency - the experience of unconditional belonging and connectedness as experienced by youth; what permanency looks like in practice can only be defined by the young person

 

Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) - an agency that provides child protective services and placement of children/youth in foster care or other approved placement settings.