What Rights do Foster Youth Have?
Foster Youth Rights
In our posts, we frequently address the rights parents have during the child welfare case process. While parents have many rights, children have important rights, too. The rights of children in foster placement are of particular importance because they protect children when they are in a vulnerable situation. Knowing and understanding these rights is important for all those involved in the life of foster youth.
Foster youth have valuable rights regarding:
- Their placement. Foster youth have a right only to be placed outside of their home after the DCP&P makes reasonable efforts to keep them in their homes. They also have the right to have reasonable efforts made on their behalf to place them with relatives, placed within their community, and placed with their siblings if possible.
- Visitation. Foster youth have a right to immediate visitation with their parents and siblings after being placed outside the home and continued visitation after that. They also have a right to maintain contact with their family and to be given accommodations to facilitate that contact.
- Environment. Foster youth have a right to be placed in the least restrictive environment for their needs and to be free from physical or psychological abuse while in placement. They also have a right to be free from frequent placement changes, which can be detrimental to their emotional well being.
- Case involvement. Foster youth have the right to have regular contact with their case workers, to participate in their case planning, to be informed of their case, and to have a case plan for their permanent placement. They also have a right to advocacy and legal representation throughout the case. A law guardian can provide both advocacy and representation throughout the case.
- Services. Foster youth have a right to high-quality services that will maintain and advance their mental and physical well being.
- Education. Foster youth have a right to an education that will maximize their potential and to remain at their school of origin when at all possible.
- Their needs. Foster youth have a right to adequate and appropriate food, clothing, housing, and medical care and to be free from unwarranted physical restraint and isolation.
- Foster youth should be advised of their rights and have them explained to them.
If you have questions about the rights of foster youth or your rights as a parent or guardian, consult with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney. An attorney can ensure you are aware of all your rights and those of your child so you can take steps to defend and enforce them.
Do you have questions about foster placement? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you through your case step by step while defending your rights along the way. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.