Know Your Rights Guide
An informational guide for teenagers in foster care.
The "Know Your Rights" guide covers five main areas:
- Placement Rights
- Medical Rights
- Mental Health Rights
- Rights for LGBTQ Youth
- Money Rights
This booklet was made to explain your rights when you are in foster care. This booklet will also give you tips on how to stand up for yourself if your rights are being violated. When you are informed about the law, you can become your own advocate to make sure the foster care system is meeting your needs. This booklet was made by a group of dedicated law students to teach you about the laws that were made just for you. We hope this booklet helps you understand the foster care system and the rights you have while you are in it. Never stop fighting for yourself because you are your own best advocate!
Your rights are protections you get under the law. Your rights come from Florida Statutes, the Florida Administrative Code, Court decisions, and federal laws. At the bottom of each page of this booklet are footnotes. The booklet will explain your rights and provide footnotes to cite (or point to) the section of the law that gives you those rights. That way, if you want to go to the judge, your case manager, or your lawyer or Guardian ad litem if you have one, with a concern, you can show them where in the law you have a right that is not being followed.
Law students created this guide to help you understand your rights, but if you think your rights are being violated you should talk to an attorney. This booklet contains information based on the law, and an attorney can help figure out if the law is not being followed. The information in this guide is here to give you general information and is not legal advice. The team of law students who created this guide worked hard to make sure the information is correct and up-to-date, but we cannot promise the information has no errors, that the law has not changed, or that the information will apply to your specific situation. If you have further questions, please contact an attorney.
About the Author
The Children’s Law Center currently hosts Equal Justice Works Fellow Taylor Greenberg, who is sponsored by Greenberg Traurig LLP and the Florida Bar Foundation. Each year, Equal Justice Works selects between 50 and 70 fellows from around the country to implement a project in an area of unmet legal need.
Taylor’s project includes providing direct representation to teenagers living in group home foster care and educating youth and the community on the rights teens have in foster care. Taylor developed the first comprehensive “Know Your Rights” guide for teens in foster care in the state of Florida. Her guide empowers youth to be informed of their rights and become their own advocates.
Still have questions?
If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.