The Right to Contribute
Foster youth have many rights, one of which is the right to be involved in their child welfare court proceedings. Their involvement in court proceedings is essential to ensure their best interests are protected. Without expressing his or her wishes, a foster youth could struggle with feeling protected, empowered, and loved.
Specifically, foster youth have a right to:
- Have regular communication with their caseworker to whom they can express any concerns and seek help.
- Maintain contact with their law guardian. Law guardians play an important role in the life of foster youth and act as advocates. They explain the court proceedings to the youth and help them express their wishes to the court. Law guardians must also notify foster youth of the time, date, place, and objective of any permanency hearings at least 15 days in advance.
- Be informed of court hearings by their resource (i.e. foster) parent as soon as the notice is received.
- Participate in permanency hearings and be provided with transportation to and from the hearing.
Collectively, these rights allow foster youth to have a say in their court proceedings and in their placement. But helping foster youth exercise these rights and have their say can be difficult when there are so many moving parts in a case. The court, the child welfare agency, the law guardian, the parents, the parent’s attorneys, the resource family and any others working on the case need to actively help foster youth stay involved and participate. Children have a right to have a say in what happens to them and a right to legal advocacy. Similarly, parents have a right to be informed of what is happening to their child and need the same kind of legal advocacy.
If you have concerns about the rights of foster youth, speak with an experienced attorney. An experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney can explain the rights of foster youth and how they can be involved in their case. An attorney can also help you ensure your child’s best interests are protected and make sure they have a say in their court proceedings.
Are you involved in a child welfare case and have concerns about your child? Williams Law Group, LLC can provide you with tenacious legal counsel to ensure your child’s best wishes are protected. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at email@example.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.