Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 8-529; 2009 Ariz. Sess. Laws, SB 1209, Chap. 159
Establishes a list of rights granted to all children in foster care, and additional rights for foster children older than age 16.
A. A child in foster care has the following rights:
1. To appropriate care and treatment in the least restrictive setting available that can meet the child's needs according to the best judgment of the foster parent.
2. To live in a safe, healthy and comfortable placement where the child can receive reasonable protection from harm and appropriate privacy for personal needs and where the child is treated with respect.
3. To know why the child is in foster care and what will happen to the child and to the child's family, including siblings, and case plans.
4. Whenever possible, the child should be placed with a foster family that can accommodate the child’s communication needs.
5. To be disciplined in a manner that is appropriate to the child's level of maturity.
6. To attend community, school and religious services and activities of the child's choice to the extent that it is appropriate for the child, as planned and discussed with the child's placement worker and caseworker and based on caregiver ability if transportation is available through a responsible party.
7. To go to school and receive an education that fits the child's age and individual needs.
8. To training in personal care, hygiene and grooming.
9. To clothing that fits comfortably and is adequate to protect the child against natural elements such as rain, snow, wind, cold and sun.
10. To have personal possessions at home that are not offensive to the foster family and to acquire additional possessions within reasonable limits, as planned and discussed with the child's foster parent, placement worker and caseworker, and based on caregiver ability.
11. To personal space, in the foster home preferably, in the child's bedroom for storing clothing and belongings.
12. To healthy foods in healthy portions that are appropriate for the child's age.
13. To comply with any approved visitation plan, and to have any restrictions explained to the child in a manner and level of details deemed age appropriate by the foster parent in agreement with the caseworker and documented in the child's record.
14. If the child is six years of age or older, to receive contact information for the child's caseworker, attorney or advocate and to speak with them in private if necessary.
15. To participate in age appropriate child's service planning and permanency planning meetings and to be given a copy or summary of each service plan and service plan review. The child may request someone to participate on the child's behalf or to support the child in this participation.
16. To attend the child's court hearing and speak to the judge.
17. To have the child's records and personal information kept private and discussed only when it is about the child's care except the foster parent shall have full access to the records to determine if the child will be successful in the home. During the foster placement, if the foster parent requests to view the record upon experiencing problems with the child's adjustment, the full record shall be made available for viewing by the foster parent.
18. To be free of unnecessary or excessive medication.
19. To receive emotional, mental health or chemical dependency treatment separately from adults who are receiving services, as planned and discussed with the child's placement worker and caseworker, as is financially reasonable for the foster parent.
20. To report a violation of personal rights specified in this section without fear of punishment, interference, coercion or retaliation, except that an appropriate level of punishment may be applied if the child is proven to have maliciously or wrongfully accused the foster parent.
21. To be informed in writing of the name, address, telephone number and purpose of the Arizona protection and advocacy system for disability assistance.
22. To understand and have a copy of the rights listed in this section.
Ark. Stat. Ann. § 9-28-901 through 903; Ark Stat. Ann. § 9-28-1002-1003; 2007 Ark. Laws, SB 955, Chap. 725
Sec. 1. Creates the Foster Parent Support Act of 2007 to support and aid foster parents to ensure the safety of foster parents’ families.
Sec. 2. Establishes the “Safeguards for Children in Foster Care Act” to ensure that the foster child is treated with nurturance and respect; cherished by a family of his or her own; heard and involved in decisions; involved with his or her birth family (if appropriate), friends, teachers and relatives; allowed access to his or her caseworker and an attorney ad litem; in receipt of appropriate education, training and preparation for citizenship; in receipt of quality child welfare services, individualized care and notification of changes; and provided with a plan for the future.
Ark. Stat. Ann. § 9-27-103 (REPEALED); 2005 Ark. Laws, HB 1710, Act 1255
Declares legislative intent that children in foster care should have continuity of educational services, shall be assisted so that they remain in their schools, shall be placed in the least restrictive educational setting, and shall have the same access to academic resources, services and extracurricular activities as all other children. Recommends that teachers, representatives from the departments of human services and education, circuit courts, attorneys, court-appointed special advocates, service providers, parents and guardians work together to ensure children’s educational continuity. Requires every school district to identify a foster care liaison to ensure timely school enrollment of foster children, assist foster children when transferring schools, and expedite the transfer of school records. Requires the department to provide information to the school on health and safety issues affecting foster children. Requires the school district to recognize the rights of foster parents when making educational decisions for children. States that a foster child’s grades may not be lowered because of absences from school due to a change in the child’s school enrollment or because of a child’s attendance at dependency-neglect court proceedings or court-ordered counseling or treatment.
Ark. Stat. Ann. §9-28-113
Continuity of educational services to foster children
(a) (1) (A) It is the intent of the General Assembly that each child in foster care is:
(i) Entitled to the same opportunities to meet the academic achievement standards to which all children are held;
(ii) Assisted so that the child can remain in his or her current school;
(iii) Placed in the least restrictive educational placement; and
(iv) Given the same access to academic resources, services, and extracurricular enrichment activities as all other children.
(B) Decisions regarding the education of a child in foster care shall be based on what is in the best interest of the child.
California Welfare and Institutions Code §361.2 (k); California 2003 AB408
(k) (1) When an agency has placed a child with a relative caregiver, a non-relative extended family member, a licensed foster family home, or a group home, the agency shall ensure placement of the child in a home that, to the fullest extent possible, best meets the day-to-day needs of the child. A home that best meets the day-to-day needs of the child shall satisfy all of the following criteria:
(A) The child's caregiver is able to meet the day-to-day health, safety, and well-being needs of the child.
(B) The child's caregiver is permitted to maintain the least restrictive and most family-like environment that serves the day-to-day needs of the child.
(C) The child is permitted to engage in reasonable, age-appropriate day-to-day activities that promote the most family-like environment for the foster child.
(2) The foster child's caregiver shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision
(a) of Section 362.04, to determine day-to-day activities that are age-appropriate to meet the needs of the child. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit a child's caregiver to permit the child to engage in day-to-day activities that carry an unreasonable risk of harm, or subject the child to abuse or neglect.
California Welfare and Institutions Code § 362.05; California 2003 AB408
(a) Every child adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court shall be entitled to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. No state or local regulation or policy may prevent, or create barriers to, participation in those activities. Each state and local entity shall ensure that private agencies that provide foster care services to dependent children have policies consistent with this section and that those agencies promote and protect the ability of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. A group home administrator, a facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, and a caregiver, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 362.04, shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 362.04, in determining whether to give permission for a child residing in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. A group home administrator, a facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, and a caregiver shall take reasonable steps to determine the appropriateness of the activity in consideration of the child's age, maturity, and developmental level.
(b) A group home administrator or a facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, is encouraged to consult with social work or treatment staff members who are most familiar with the child at the group home in applying and using the reasonable and prudent parent standard.
California Welfare and Institutions Code § 16001.9, ACR 58, Res. Chap. 150
Recognizes that the rights of foster children are critical to ensuring their well-being. Encourages various departments, agencies and associations to develop practices to help foster youth understand their rights and available resources.
In 2001, California enacted the following bill of rights along with a provision to its Health and Safety Code requiring that foster care providers must give every school-age child and his/her authorized representative an age-appropriate orientation and an explanation of the child's rights. Furthermore, any facility licensed to care for six or more children in foster care must post those rights in the form of posters provided by the State Foster Care Ombudsperson (Section 1530.91). The rights are listed in the Welfare and Institutions Code (Section 16001.9) as:
1. To live in a safe, healthy, and comfortable home where he or she is treated with respect.
2. To be free from physical, sexual, emotional, or other abuse, or corporal punishment.
3. To receive adequate and healthy food, adequate clothing, and, for youth in group homes, an allowance.
4. To receive medical, dental, vision, and mental health services.
5. To be free of the administration of medication or chemical substances, unless authorized by a physician.
6. To contact family members, unless prohibited by court order, and social workers, attorneys, foster youth advocates and supporters, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and probation officers.
7. To visit and contact brothers and sisters, unless prohibited by court order.
8. To contact the Community Care Licensing Division of the State Department of Social Services or the State Foster Care Ombudsperson regarding violations of rights, to speak to representatives of these offices confidentially, and to be free from threats or punishment for making complaints.
9. To make and receive confidential telephone calls and send and receive unopened mail, unless prohibited by court order.
10. To attend religious services and activities of his or her choice.
11. To maintain an emancipation bank account and manage personal income, consistent with the child's age and developmental level, unless prohibited by the case plan.
12. To not be locked in any room, building, or facility premises, unless placed in a community treatment facility.
13. To attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and personal enrichment activities, consistent with the child's age and developmental level.
14. To work and develop job skills at an age-appropriate level that is consistent with state law.
15. To have social contacts with people outside of the foster care system, such as teachers, church members, mentors, and friends.
16. To attend Independent Living Program classes and activities if he or she meets age requirements.
17. To attend court hearings and speak to the judge.
18. To have storage space for private use.
19. To review his or her own case plan if he or she is over 12 years of age and to receive information about his or her out-of-home placement and case plan, including being told of changes to the plan.
20. To be free from unreasonable searches of personal belongings.
21. To confidentiality of all juvenile court records consistent with existing law.
22. To have fair and equal access to all available services, placement, care, treatment, and benefits, and to not be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnic group identification, ancestry, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or HIV status.
23. At 16 years of age or older, to have access to existing information regarding the educational options available, including, but not limited to, the coursework necessary for vocational and postsecondary educational programs, and information regarding financial aid for postsecondary education.
Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 19-7-101 through 19-7-103; 2011 Colo. Session Laws, SB 120, Chap. 102
Establishes certain protections for the rights of youth in foster care, except for those in the custody of the Division of Youth Corrections or a state mental hospital. These include freedom from administration of prescription medication unless authorized by a physician; promotion of school stability that presumes a youth will remain in his or her current school at the time of placement, unless remaining in that school is not in the child’s best interests; and freedom to maintain an emancipation bank account. To help protect youth against identity theft, the court shall ensure that each youth in foster care who is age 16 to 18 receives a free credit report. In addition, foster parents and group home parents must make reasonable efforts to allow a youth in their care to participate in extracurricular, cultural, educational, work-related and personal enrichment activities.
||Conn. Stat. Ann. 17a-10a
Sibling Bill of Rights
(a) The Commissioner of Children and Families shall ensure that a child placed in the care and custody of the commissioner pursuant to an order of temporary custody or an order of commitment is provided visitation with such child’s parents and siblings, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(b) The commissioner shall ensure that such child’s visits with his or her parents shall occur as frequently as reasonably possible, based upon consideration of the best interests of the child, including the age and developmental level of the child, and shall be sufficient in number and duration to ensure continuation of the relationship.
(c) If such child has an existing relationship with a sibling and is separated from such sibling as a result of intervention by the commissioner including, but not limited to, placement in a foster home or in the home of a relative, the commissioner shall, based upon consideration of the best interests of the child, ensure that such child has access to and visitation rights with such sibling throughout the duration of such placement. In determining the number, frequency and duration of such visits, the commissioner shall consider the best interests of each sibling, given each child’s age and developmental level and the continuation of the sibling relationship.
(d) The commissioner shall include in each child’s plan of treatment information relating to the factors considered in making visitation determinations pursuant to this section. If the commissioner determines that such visits are not in the best interests of the child or that the number, frequency or duration of the visits requested by the child’s attorney or guardian ad litem is not in the best interests of the child, the commissioner shall include the reasons for such determination in the child’s plan of treatment.
2015 HB 46
Del. Code tit. 13 § 2522
§2522 Rights of children in DSCYF custody.
(a) All dependent, neglected and abused children in DSCYF custody under this chapter shall have the following rights in accordance with his or her age and developmental level, unless prohibited by Court order:
(1) To be informed of the reason they have been placed in DSCYF custody.
(2) To receive water, food, shelter, and clothing that is necessary and appropriate for their age and individual needs.
(3) To be free from abuse or neglect.
(4) To have assistance in obtaining access to medical, vision, and dental treatment that is necessary and appropriate for their age and individual needs; and to have assistance in obtaining access to necessary and appropriate mental health and substance abuse treatment if the need for such treatment is identified.
(5) To receive appropriate placement services.
(6) To contact and visit with their parents, siblings in DSCYF custody, and other individuals, including their own child in DSCYF custody. If such contact or visitation is inappropriate, the child has the right to be notified of the reason for that decision.
(7) To have assistance in obtaining access to an education, at their school of origin when feasible, with minimal disruption to their education when they are placed in DSCYF custody.
(8) To participate in the formation and maintenance of their foster care service, independent living and transition plans, where applicable.
(9) To have regular and meaningful access to and have confidential contact with their caseworker and attorney or court-appointed special advocate.
(10) To be notified, attend, and participate in court hearings and to speak to the judge regarding any decision that may have an impact on their life.
(11) To have their confidentiality protected as required by state and federal law.
(12) To receive independent living services and supports beginning at age 16 if eligible and if resources are available.
(13) To report any violation of their rights or the violation of the rights of others without being punished or retaliated against for such reporting.
(14) To receive a copy of the rights set forth in this section.
(b) Any child aggrieved by a violation of this section may motion the Court, through an attorney or court-appointed special advocate, for appropriate equitable relief.
Fla. Stat. § 39.4085
Provides the following rights for children in "shelter or foster care:"
1. To receive a copy of this act and have it fully explained to them when they are placed in the custody of the department.
2. To enjoy individual dignity, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and the protection of their civil and legal rights as persons in the custody of the state.
3. To have their privacy protected, have their personal belongings secure and transported with them, and, unless otherwise ordered by the court, have uncensored communication, including receiving and sending unopened communications and having access to a telephone.
4. To have personnel providing services who are sufficiently qualified and experienced to assess the risk children face prior to removal from their homes and to meet the needs of the children once they are in the custody of the department.
5. To remain in the custody of their parents or legal custodians unless and until there has been a determination by a qualified person exercising competent professional judgment that removal is necessary to protect their physical, mental, or emotional health or safety.
6. To have a full risk, health, educational, medical and psychological screening and, if needed, assessment and testing upon adjudication into foster care; and to have their photograph and fingerprints included in their case management file.
7. To be referred to and receive services, including necessary medical, emotional, psychological, psychiatric, and educational evaluations and treatment, as soon as practicable after identification of the need for such services by the screening and assessment process.
8. To be placed in a home with no more than one other child, unless they are part of a sibling group.
9. To be placed away from other children known to pose a threat of harm to them, either because of their own risk factors or those of the other child.
10. To be placed in a home where the shelter or foster caregiver is aware of and understands the child's history, needs, and risk factors.
11. To be the subject of a plan developed by the counselor and the shelter or foster caregiver to deal with identified behaviors that may present a risk to the child or others.
12. To be involved and incorporated, where appropriate, in the development of the case plan, to have a case plan which will address their specific needs, and to object to any of the provisions of the case plan.
13. To receive meaningful case management and planning that will quickly return the child to his or her family or move the child on to other forms of permanency.
14. To receive regular communication with a caseworker, at least once a month, which shall include meeting with the child alone and conferring with the shelter or foster caregiver.
15. To enjoy regular visitation, at least once a week, with their siblings unless the court orders otherwise.
16. To enjoy regular visitation with their parents, at least once a month, unless the court orders otherwise.
17. To receive a free and appropriate education; minimal disruption to their education and retention in their home school, if appropriate; referral to the child study team; all special educational services, including, where appropriate, the appointment of a parent surrogate; the sharing of all necessary information between the school board and the department, including information on attendance and educational progress.
18. To be able to raise grievances with the department over the care they are receiving from their caregivers, caseworkers, or other service providers.
19. To be heard by the court, if appropriate, at all review hearings.
20. To have a guardian ad litem appointed to represent, within reason, their best interests and, where appropriate, an attorney ad litem appointed to represent their legal interests; the guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem shall have immediate and unlimited access to the children they represent.
21. To have all their records available for review by their guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem if they deem such review necessary.
22. To organize as a group for purposes of ensuring that they receive the services and living conditions to which they are entitled and to provide support for one another while in the custody of the department.
23. To be afforded prompt access to all available state and federal programs, including, but not limited to: Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Testing (EPSDT) services, developmental services programs, Medicare and supplemental security income, Children's Medical Services, and programs for severely emotionally disturbed children.
||Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 587A
Rights of children in foster care. (a) The department or an authorized agency shall ensure that a child in foster care will:
(1) Live in a safe and healthy home, free from physical, psychological, sexual, and other abuse;
(2) Receive adequate food, shelter, and clothing;
(3) Receive adequate medical care, dental services, corrective vision care, and mental health services;
(4) Be enrolled in a comprehensive health insurance plan and, within forty-five days of out-of-home placement, be provided with a comprehensive health assessment and recommended treatment;
(5) Have regular supervised or unsupervised in-person, telephone, or other forms of contact with the child's parents and siblings while the child is in foster care, unless the contact is either prohibited by court order or is deemed to be unsafe by the child's child welfare services worker, therapist, guardian ad litem, or court appointed special advocate. Withholding visitation shall not be used as punishment. If the department denies supervised or unsupervised visits with the child's parents or siblings:
(A) If all parties, including the child, agree to the denial of the visits, the department shall submit a written report to the court within five working days to document the reasons why the visits are being denied; or
(B) If any party, including the child, disagrees with the denial of the visits, the department shall file a motion for immediate review within five working days and the motion must include the specific reasons why visits are being denied;
(6) Receive notice of court hearings and if the child wishes to attend the hearings, to ensure that the child is transported to the court hearings;
(7) Have in-person contact with the child's assigned child welfare services worker;
(8) Have the ability to exercise the child's own religious beliefs, including the refusal to attend any religious activities and services;
(9) Have a personal bank account if requested, and assistance in managing the child's personal income consistent with the child's age and development, unless safety or other concerns require otherwise;
(10) Be able to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities; provided that if a child caring institution or resource caregiver authorizes the participation, it must be in accordance with the reasonable and prudent parenting standard, as defined in title 42 United States Code section 675(10)(A);
(11) Beginning at age twelve, be provided with age-appropriate life skills training and a transition plan for appropriately moving out of the foster care system which also includes reunification or other permanency, as well as written information concerning independent living programs, foster youth organizations, transitional planning services that are available to all children in foster care who are twelve years of age or older and their resource families;
(12) Have the right to be involved in developing a case plan and planning for the child's future, if the child is fourteen or older;
(13) If the child is fourteen or older, receive the child's credit report, free of charge, annually through the child's time in foster care - and to receive assistance with interpreting the report and resolving inaccuracies including, when feasible, assistance from the child's guardian ad litem;
(14) If the child has been in foster care for more than six months, and is aging out of care, receive assistance in obtaining certain personal records such as an official or certified copy of the child's United States birth certificate, a Social Security card issued by the Commissioner of Social Security, health insurance information, a copy of the child's medical records, or information to access the child's medical records, a driver's license or state identification card issued by the State in accordance with the requirements of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Pub.L. 109–13, 119 Stat. 302;
(b) A child in foster care also has the following additional rights:
(1) To be treated fairly and equally and receive care and services that are culturally responsive and free from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, ancestry, immigration status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental disability, pregnant or parenting status, or the fact that the child is in foster care;
(2) To meet with and speak to the presiding judge in the child's case;
(3) To have regular in-person contact with the child's court-appointed guardian ad litem, court appointed special advocate and probation officer;
(4) To ask for an attorney, if the child's opinions and requests differ from those being advocated by the guardian ad litem pursuant to section 587A-16(c)(6);
(5) To attend school and to remain in the child's school of origin unless determined not in the child's best interest, and to be provided cost-effective transportation to be maintained in the child's school of origin; if the child changes school during a school year, the child should be enrolled immediately in the new school;
(6) To receive educational records to the same extent as all other students;
(c) Sua sponte or upon appropriate motion, the family court may issue any necessary orders to any party, including the department, the department of education, the department of health, the guardian ad litem, the court-appointed special advocate, or the probation officer to ensure the child is provided with the rights enumerated in subsections (a) and (b).
||Ind. Acts, IC 31-27-2-12 P.L. 233
|| Requires DCS to form a working group made of current foster parents, child-placing agencies and other individuals and organizations with expertise in foster care services. The group will develop a statement of the rights and responsibilities of a foster parent. DCS will also be required to establish a plan to distribute to current and prospective foster parents and make the document available to the public on the department’s website.
Department of Health and Human Services
Foster Children’s Bill of Rights
The Department of Children and Families recognizes the following rights of children and youth in foster care. These rights are intended to guide the Department and its providers in the delivery of care and services to foster youth with the commitment to permanency, safety and well being. This Bill of Rights was developed by the Department's Youth Advisory Board.
Every Foster Child
- Shall be treated with respect by DCF staff, foster parents and providers without regard to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and/or disability.
- Shall have family and relatives explored first as potential placement providers.
- Shall have reasonable access to a caseworker who makes case plan decisions. Reasonable access shall include the social worker and supervisor's office telephone numbers and email addresses as well as, a minimum, monthly visits by a social worker.
- Shall participate in the development and review of the service plan and have input into changes to the plan that affect permanence, safety, stability or well being. Youth age 14 and older should also be presented with the service plan for their review and signature.
- Shall be informed in a manner appropriate to age and level of understanding of the reason(s) the Department of Children and Families became involved with his/her family and why he/she is in care.
- Shall be included in the Foster Care Review meeting, Permanency Hearing and Lead Agency Team meeting if age 14 and older, unless documented by court order or service plan that participation would be detrimental to the youth. If the youth is unable to attend in person, he/she Shall have the right to submit a written statement to be considered at the meeting.
- Shall be provided with information about a foster family or program and, whenever possible, Shall have an opportunity to meet the foster parent or program staff before placement occurs.
- Shall live with a family and in placement settings that provide a safe and nurturing environment while supporting permanency, and well being, including encouraging youth's goals, interests, social and school activities.
- Shall have involvement as appropriate with family members and should participate in the development of visitation plans.
- Shall receive support from social worker, foster family/provider in maintaining positive contact with significant people (relatives, teachers, friends and community supports) including assistance with contact information and visitation.
- Shall be treated as a family member and, whenever possible, be included in a foster family's activities, holidays and rituals and be able to freely discuss reason(s) with social worker and foster family if choosing to not participate.
- Shall have access to medical, dental, vision, mental and behavioral health services regularly and more often as needed.
- Shall have access to information contained in medical, dental, and educational records held by DCF as well as personal documents such as social security card, birth certificate, green card, etc. When youth leave DCF, they Shall be given copies of medical, dental and educational records held by DCF and original social security card, birth certificate, and green card.
- Shall have the opportunity to have private conversations with social worker on a regular basis. Foster youth should also be made aware of the process for contacting the supervisor and attorney regarding any questions or concerns.
- Shall be informed of the names and phone numbers of assigned attorneys and be aware that they can contact their attorneys and
that there is a process to request a change of attorneys.
- Shall have access to personal possessions, personal space and privacy with allowance for safety. Shall receive assistance in acquiring life skills, education, training and career guidance to accomplish personal goals and prepare for the future and be informed of the post-secondary educational and employment supports available to youth in care through the Department.
- Shall be informed that DCF provides clothing, birthday and holiday payments to foster parents and placement providers for youth in placement.
||Minn. Laws, § 260C.008, Chap. 188
||Foster Care Siblings Bill of Rights.
||Mo. Laws § 210.110 and 210.564
||210.110 (1) Victims of abuse shall also include any victims of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking. 210.564 1. Foster Care Bill of Rights.
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 167.018; 2009 Mo. Laws, HB 154
Creates a “Foster Care Education Bill of Rights,” which designates an educational liaison from each school district for children in foster care. Establishes that each child-placing agency shall promote educational stability for foster children when making placement decisions by considering their current school attendance area. The foster care pupil shall have the right to remain enrolled in and attend his or her school of origin pending resolution of school placement. Requires the state to make diligent efforts to contact and locate grandparents of a child for emergency placement, except when the Children’s Division determines this not to be in the best interests of the child. Defines “diligent efforts” to include a good-faith attempt, documented in writing, which exercises reasonable efforts and care to use all available services and resources related to meeting the ongoing health and safety needs of the child and to locating a grandparent of the child.
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 432.500 through § 432.550; 2011 Nev. Stats., AB 154, Chap. 133
Secs. 3−5: Establishes certain rights of children who are placed in foster homes. The law standardizes rights for children in foster care among foster care and treatment providers. It ensures consistency of care for children among the various types of care provided. It brings issues related to the Bill of Rights for Children in Foster Care into one place in the statute to allow more effective communication among families. The law also sets a standard so that all foster children are afforded the same basic rights.
Sec. 6: Requires a provider of family foster care that places a child in a foster home to inform the child of his or her rights and to provide the child with a written copy of those rights. The law requires each group foster home that provides care to more than six children to post a written copy of these rights in the group foster home.
Sec. 7: Authorizes a provider of family foster care to place reasonable restrictions on the rights of a child based upon the time, place and manner of a child’s exercise of those rights if such restrictions are necessary to preserve the order or safety of the foster home.
Sec. 8: Authorizes a child placed in foster care who believes that his or her rights as set forth in this law have been violated to raise and redress a grievance with any of a number of people or institutions responsible for the child.
||N.H. SB 385 Chapter 220
||Establishes a Bill of Rights for children in foster care; provides a guide for the Department of Health and Human Services staff, foster parents, and providers in the delivery of care and services to youth in out of home placement; provides that these Rights provide a voice to be taken into consideration when decisions are made by the courts, Department staff, and providers.
N.J. Rev. Stat. § 9:6B-4
Lists the following rights for children placed outside their home:
1. To placement outside his home only after the applicable department has made every reasonable effort, including the provision or arrangement of financial or other assistance and services as necessary, to enable the child to remain in his home;
2. To the best efforts of the applicable department, including the provision or arrangement of financial or other assistance and services as necessary, to place the child with a relative;
3. To the best efforts of the applicable department, including the provision or arrangement of financial or other assistance and services as necessary, to place the child in an appropriate setting in his own community;
4. To the best efforts of the applicable department to place the child in the same setting with the child's sibling if the sibling is also being placed outside his home;
5. To visit with the child's parents or legal guardian immediately after the child has been placed outside his home and on a regular basis thereafter, and to otherwise maintain contact with the child's parents or legal guardian, and to receive assistance from the applicable department to facilitate that contact, including the provision or arrangement of transportation as necessary;
6. To visit with the child's sibling on a regular basis and to otherwise maintain contact with the child's sibling if the child was separated from his sibling upon placement outside his home, including the provision or arrangement of transportation as necessary;
7. To placement in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the child's needs and conducive to the health and safety of the child;
8. To be free from physical or psychological abuse and from repeated changes in placement before the permanent placement or return home of the child;
9. To have regular contact with any caseworker assigned to the child's case who is employed by the applicable department or any agency or organization with which the applicable department contracts to provide services and the opportunity, as appropriate to the age of the child, to participate in the planning and regular review of the child's case, and to be informed on a timely basis of changes in any placement plan which is prepared pursuant to law or regulation and the reasons therefore in terms and language appropriate to the child's ability to understand;
10. To have a placement plan, as required by law or regulation, that reflects the child's best interests and is designed to facilitate the permanent placement or return home of the child in a timely manner that is appropriate to the needs of the child;
11. To services of a high quality that are designed to maintain and advance the child's mental and physical well-being;
12. To be represented in the planning and regular review of the child's case, including the placement and development of, or revisions to, any placement plan which is required by law or regulation and the provision of services to the child, the child's parents or legal guardian and the temporary caretaker, by a person other than the child's parent or legal guardian or temporary caretaker who will advocate for the best interests of the child and the enforcement of the rights established pursuant to this act, which person may be the caseworker, as appropriate, or a person appointed by the court, for this purpose;
13. To receive an educational program which will maximize the child's potential;
14. To receive adequate, safe and appropriate food, clothing and housing;
15. To receive adequate and appropriate medical care; and
16. To be free from unwarranted physical restraint and isolation.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 131D-10.1; 2013 HB 510, Act No. 2013-326
(a) It is the policy of this State to strengthen and preserve the family as a unit consistent with a high priority of protecting children's welfare. When a child requires care outside the family unit, it is the duty of the State to assure that the quality of substitute care is as close as possible to the care and nurturing that society expects of a family. However, the State recognizes there are instances when protecting a child's welfare outweighs reunifying the family unit, and as such, the care of residential care facilities providing high-quality services that include meeting the children's educational needs as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services can satisfy the standard of protecting a child's welfare, regardless of the child's age, particularly when the sibling groups can be kept intact. To that end, the General Assembly promotes the following in the provision of foster care:
(1) A safe foster home free of violence, abuse, neglect, and danger.
(2) First priority regarding placement in a home with siblings.
(3) The ability to communicate with the assigned social worker or case worker overseeing the child's case and have calls made to the social worker or caseworker returned within a reasonable period of time.
(4) Allowing the child to remain enrolled in the school the child attended before being placed in foster care, if at all possible.
(5) Having a social worker, when a child is removed from the home, to immediately begin conducting an investigation to identify and locate all grandparents, adult siblings, and other adult relatives of the child to provide those persons with specific information and explanation of various options to participate in placement of a child.
(6) Participation in school extracurricular activities, community events, and religious practices.
(7) Communication with the biological parents if the child placed in foster care receives any immunizations and whether any additional immunizations are needed if the child will be transitioning back into a home with his or her biological parents.
(8) Establishing and having access to a bank or savings account in accordance with State laws and federal regulations.
(9) Obtaining identification and permanent documents, including a birth certificate, social security card, and health records by the age of 16, to the extent allowed by federal and State law.
(10) The use of appropriate communication measures to maintain contact with siblings if the child placed in foster care is separated from his or her siblings.
(11) Meaningful participation in a transition plan for those phasing out of foster care, including participation in family team, treatment team, court, and school meetings.
||Or. Rev State § 418.608
||Requires Department of Human Services to adopt rules to establish Oregon Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights.
Or. Rev. Stat. § 418.200 through § 418-202; 2013 SB 123, Act No. 515
Requires the Department of Human Services to adopt rules to establish the Oregon Foster Children's Bill of Rights, provides for rights of complaint, provides for notice of placement, how to obtain a driver license, establish a bank account, obtain a credit report and how to obtain health care and mental health care, including services and treatments available without parental consent.
Pa. Stat. tit. 11, § 2633
Creates the “Children in Foster Care Act.” The law stipulates that all foster children, caregivers and birth parents have rights, including the right to contact their attorneys or guardians ad litem, receive notice of court hearings, have educational stability, have access to necessary health services, consent to medical and mental health treatment consistent with current law, participate in religious observances, and visit and have contact with family. It defines corporal punishment as a form of physical discipline in which an individual is spanked, paddled or hit on any part of the body with a hand or instrument. It also provides for a grievance policy and procedure and provides that a copy of the grievance policy and procedure shall be given to the child.
Section 3. Children in foster care.
Children in foster care shall be provided with the following:
(1) Treatment with fairness, dignity and respect.
(2) Freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, age or gender.
(3) Freedom from harassment, corporal punishment, unreasonable restraint and physical, sexual, emotional and other abuse.
(4) The ability to live in the least restrictive, most family-like setting that is safe, healthy and comfortable and meets the child's needs.
(5) Proper nourishment.
(6) Clothing that is clean, seasonal and age and gender appropriate.
(7) Access to medical, dental, vision, mental health, behavioral health and drug and alcohol abuse and addiction services consistent with the laws of this Commonwealth and for which the child qualifies.
(8) Information related to services under paragraph (7), including, but not limited to, medication and medication options and the opportunity to communicate a preference regarding a treatment plan, medication or medication options. If a child objects to a treatment plan, his or her objection shall be noted in the child's case record.
(9) Opportunity to consent to medical and mental health treatment consistent with applicable law.
(10) Permission to visit and have contact with family members, including siblings, as frequently as possible, consistent with the family service plan and the child's permanency plan, unless prohibited by court order, but no less than that prescribed by statute or regulation.
(11) The contact information of the child's guardian ad litem, attorney, court-appointed special advocate and members of the integrated services planning team and the opportunity to contact those persons.
(12) An environment that maintains and reflects the child's culture as may be reasonably accommodated.
(13) Education stability and an appropriate education consistent with the laws of this Commonwealth, including the opportunity to participate in extracurricular, cultural and personal enrichment activities that are reasonably available and accommodated and consistent with the child's age and developmental level.
(14) The opportunity to work and develop job skills at an age-appropriate level, consistent with the laws of this Commonwealth and as may be reasonably accommodated.
(15) The ability to receive appropriate life skills training and independent living services to prepare the child for the transition to adulthood, as consistent with Federal and State laws.
(16) Notice of and the ability to attend court hearings relating to the child's case and to have the opportunity to be heard consistent with 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters).
(17) Confidentiality consistent with the laws of this Commonwealth.
(18) First consideration for placement with relatives, including siblings. In the absence of relatives, to have any kinship resource be considered as the preferred placement resource if the placement is consistent with the best interest of the child and the needs of other children in the kinship residence.
(19) Consideration of any previous resource family as the preferred placement resource, if relative and kinship resources are unavailable and the placement resource is consistent with the best interest of the child.
(20) If the child in foster care has a child of his or her own and that child has been placed in the same resource family with the parent, the child in foster care may exercise parental and decision-making authority over his or her own child, so long as there are no safety concerns on the part of the county child welfare agency or determined by the juvenile court.
(21) Permission to participate in religious observances and activities and attend religious services of the child's preference or the religion of the child's family of origin or culture as may be reasonably accommodated.
(22) A permanency plan and transition plan developed in conjunction with the child, and reviewed with the child, that provides the child with:
iii) Permanence and well-being, including stable and safe housing, opportunities for postsecondary education and training and employment and a stable source of income, health insurance and a plan for future treatment.
(iv) Connections with reliable adults.
(23) Notification that the child may request to remain under the court's jurisdiction under paragraph (3) of the definition of "child" under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302 (relating to definitions).
(24) The grievance policy and procedure from a county agency or private agency and in accordance with section 4.
(25) The ability to file a grievance related to any of the provisions under this section to the appropriate official overseeing the child's care in accordance with a county or private agency's grievance policy and procedure.
2011 PR Sess. Laws, L 0087
Requires the Department of Education, in coordination with the Department of Family and the Office of Youth Affairs,
to establish mechanisms and systems for publishing and disseminating information about the Child’s Bill of Rights.
R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-72-15
The Children's Bill of Rights protects the legal and civil rights of all children in state care.
- No child in DCYF care shall be deprived of any personal property of civil rights without due process.
- Each child shall receive humane and dignified treatment with full respect for his or her personal dignity and right to privacy.
- Each child may communicate with any individual, group or agency, consistent with the child's treatment plan.
- Regarding children in secure facilities, DCYF shall specify when restraint and seclusion may be used, and when and how communication by mail or phone may be restricted.
- Each child in a secure facility may receive visitors, including his or her attorney,
- Guardian ad litem, special advocate, Child Advocate, physicians, mental health professionals, and members of the clergy.
- A child is entitled to a free and appropriate education immediately upon being placed.
- Child victims as witnesses are afforded statutory protections.
- A child cannot be denied drug treatment solely because of DCYF placement.
- Violations of the Children's Bill of Rights are handled exclusively by the Family Court.
- The Children's Bill of Rights must be posted in a conspicuous place in all secure facilities and /or residential placement facilities.
||S.C. Code § 59-38-10
||School district procedures and responsibilities; Department of Social Services responsibilities; educational and school placement decisions; transfer of credits and grades; court appearances treated as excused absences; Department access to school records; adult advocates. [SC ST SEC 59-38-10]
(A) Each school district shall have in place procedures to ensure seamless transitions between schools and school districts for children upon notice that a child is in foster care. School districts shall consider maintaining a child in foster care in the same school if it is in the child's best interest. A school district must not place additional enrollment requirements on a child based solely on the fact that the child is in foster care.
(B) Each school district shall:
(1) facilitate the immediate enrollment of a child in foster care residing in a foster home, group living facility, or any other setting that is located within the district or area served by the district;
(2) assist a child in foster care transferring from one district to another by ensuring proper transfer of records;
(3) request school records within two school days of placement into a school and transfer records within two school days of receiving a request for school records.
(C) The Department of Social Services immediately shall enroll the child in school, maintaining the child in the same school if possible, and shall provide a copy of the court order to the school district to be included in the student's school record.
(D) Educational and school placement decisions for children in foster care must be made to ensure that each child immediately is placed in the least restrictive educational program and has access to all academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all students.
(E) Each school district shall accept for credit full or partial course work satisfactorily completed by a child in foster care while attending a public school, nonpublic school, or nonsectarian school in accordance with state and district policies or regulations.
(F) Each school district shall ensure that when a decision to change the foster home placement of a child is made by the court or the Department of Social Services and the child must change schools, the grades and credits of that child must be calculated as of the date the child left school, and the child's grades must not be lowered as a result of these circumstances.
(G) Each school district shall ensure that if a child in foster care is absent from school due to a certified court appearance or related court-ordered activity including, but not limited to, court-ordered treatment services, these absences must be counted as excused absences upon submission of appropriate documentation. If these absences exceed the limit provided for by law, the school administrator shall allow the child an opportunity to make up all assignments and required seat time.
(H) Each school district, subject to federal law, may permit an authorized representative of the Department of Social Services to have access to the school records of a child in foster care for the purpose of fulfilling educational case management responsibilities required by law and to assist with the school transfer or placement of the child.
(I) The Department of Social Services shall ensure that children in foster care have a willing and available adult to advocate for their best educational interests, and school districts shall acknowledge and accept this person's role in advocating for educational services necessary to meet each child's needs.
Tex. Family Code Ann. § 263.008; 2011 Tex. Gen. Laws, HB 2170, Chap. 791
Sec. 1: Creates a “Foster Child Bill of Rights” for children in foster care that is to include rights to food, shelter and education; medical, dental, vision and mental health services; emergency behavioral intervention; placement with siblings; privacy; participation in school-related extracurricular or community activities; interactions with people outside the foster care system; contact and communication with caseworkers, attorneys ad litem, guardians ad litem and court appointed special advocates; participation in religious activities; confidentiality of records; job skills, personal finances and preparation for adulthood; participation in court hearings involving the child; and advocacy for and protection of any disability rights for the child. The law requires the Department of Family and Protective Services to provide a written copy and oral review of the Bill of Rights to each child in foster care in the child’s primary language. It further requires the department to promote participation of foster children and former foster children in educating other foster children about the Bill of Rights and in developing and implementing a policy for receiving and handling reports that the rights of a foster child are not being observed.
Sec. 2: Requires the Department of Family and Protective Services to ensure that each child in foster care who is age 16 or older annually obtains a free copy of his or her credit report and information regarding interpreting the report and correcting inaccuracies, until the child is discharged from foster care.