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, we have been defending these rights.

Since 1995, we have been fighting to enshrine in the law of the land 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’ campaigns to reform child welfare systems generally are limited to class action or other impact litigation aimed at addressing system-wide problems on behalf of all children dependent on child welfare and foster care systems around the country. Children’s Rights does not handle or provide legal advice concerning individual abuse, neglect, or other family-court proceedings. If you are looking for counsel to represent or advise you in an individual case, please contact your local legal bar association or legal aid/legal services organization or the court for a referral for legal counsel.


Sign up here:

Please leave this field empty