Foster Parent Resource Center

Your Rights in Foster Care

The Rights for Youth in Foster Care may be different in each state. Ask your caseworker about your rights in your state. If your rights are being violated, contact a caseworker, attorney, or foster parent immediately.

As a youth 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 secured 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 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 social workers, attorneys, and advocates and to be allowed to have confidential conversations with such individuals.
  15. To be told by your social worker and your attorney about any changes in your case plan or placement and receive honest information about the decisions the Agency 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.

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