Your Rights

Under the Constitution and under the law, children dependent on child welfare systems have rights — and Children’s Rights is dedicated to protecting them.

Children in foster care and others dependent on public child welfare systems have important legal rights under the United States Constitution and federal and state law, including:

  • The right to be protected from abuse, neglect, or other maltreatment in foster homes, group homes, and other placements. Foster parents and facility staff must be properly monitored and screened. Any alleged maltreatment must be quickly and thoroughly investigated.
  • The right to adequate food, clothing, and shelter.
  • The right to an appropriate, stable placement in the least restrictive situation possible.
  • The right to regular medical and dental care, and any necessary mental health services.
  • The right to needed developmental and educational services.
  • The right to case-planning services and a permanent home consistent with the purposes of your custody.
  • The right not to deteriorate while in state custody.
  • The right not to be discriminated against based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

For almost 25 years, Children’s Rights has been advocating for kids.

Since 1995, we have been fighting to protect the rights of abused, neglected, and foster/adopted youth — winning landmark victories and bringing about sweeping improvements in the lives of children in more than a dozen states across the nation.

To learn more about our child welfare reform campaigns, please visit www.childrensrights.org/cases.

To get in touch, please visit www.childrensrights.org/contact.

Children’s Rights brings class-action lawsuits on behalf of children in child welfare systems. We do not provide direct legal representation or advise on individual matters. If you are looking for legal counsel to represent or advise you, please contact your local bar association, legal aid/legal services agency, or the Court for a referral for legal counsel.

Children’s Rights — Mission:

Every day, children are harmed by America’s broken child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and healthcare systems. Through relentless strategic advocacy and legal action, we hold governments accountable for keeping kids safe and healthy. Children’s Rights has made a lasting impact, protecting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children and we are poised to help millions more. They are depending on us…and you.


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