Helpful Resources

Bay Area Legal Services has various resources available for children in foster care and their caregivers.

Referrals to the Children's Law Center

The Children's Law Center also accepts referrals from other adults involved in the child’s life who are in a better position of knowing whether the child needs legal representation. If a child welfare stakeholder (foster parent, case manager, guardian ad litem, relative, non-relative caregiver, etc.) contacts our office seeking representation for a child in the Hillsborough County dependency system, please refer the caller to our administrative assistants who will complete the referral document with the caller. If the case meets our eligibility criteria and there is no conflict, we will review the case and determine whether we have the resources to accept the case for representation and will notify the caller of our decision within 10 days from the date the referral was completed. Call 813.227.9050 for assistance.

Important Information for Children in Foster Care

Learn how you can be a part of the decisions in your life:

  • Your safety
  • Your rights
  • The new people in your life

Choose Quality Child Care!

Quality child care is critical for children in the child welfare system. Learn about:

  • Benefits of quality child care
  • Laws supporting quality child care
  • Information for foster parents
  • Finding quality child care
  • Supporting the early leanring of the children in your care

Understanding Your Early Education Options for 0- to 5-Year-Old Children in Care

There are five Early Education provider-types available:

  • School Readiness Provider
  • Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK)
  • Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) Head Start
  • Eckerd Early Head Start

Questions for Caregivers of Children in Hillsborough County's Child Welfare System

Commons questions and explanations for:

  • Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Provider
  • Training
  • Accomdations
  • Teachers
  • Social/emotional development
  • Assessments

Child Care Help: What do I do if...

Learn how to get child care help in different circumastances such as:

  • Needing child care for the first time
  • Wanting a specific kind of child care provider, location, or hours
  • Ensuring the quality of the child care setting
  • Understanding your child's development or speech/language skills

Child Care Eligibility by Permanency Outcome

What happens to their eligibility if:

  • The child is reunified with their biological parent, but the case is still open with Eckerd and the court?
  • The child has been successfully reunified with their biological parent for six months, and the case closes with Eckerd and with the court?
  • The child is adopted and the case closes with Eckerd and the court?
  • The child is placed in a permanent guardianship with a relative or non-relative and the case closes with Eckerd, but the court retains jurisdiction?
  • For each program, are there eligibility charts that would help predict whether ongoing eligibility will be found?

Still have questions?

If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.

How do I apply? Am I eligible?

Call (800) 625-2257

to apply for service.

Or complete our online application

and we will call you back.