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
L. David Shear Children’s Law Center Staff Attorney Taylor Greenberg created the "Know Your Rights" guide to explain the rights youth have in foster care and empower them to become their own advocates.
Bay Area Legal Services Receives Technology Grant from the Legal Services Corporation
Bay Area Legal Services will use a $274,032 grant to develop a web and mobile platform that empowers youth in foster care throughout Florida. The tools will increase youth awareness of their important legal rights—such as education and employment-training benefits—and educate them on various legal protections that help ensure their safety and wellbeing. The platform will provide foster youth several online self-help tools, including online videos and interactive interviews.
Legal Aid Advocates Partner to Expand "Know Your Rights": A Project to Educate Foster Youth
Approximately 25,000 children are currently in Florida’s welfare system, and Hillsborough County has more child removals than any other county in the state with higher populations. With this in mind, the Legal Services Corporation awarded Bay Area Legal Services funding through their Technology Initiative Grant to finance the expansion of the “Know Your Rights” (KYR) project.
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If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.