Legal Issues for Youth in Foster Care
Resources and information for youth in foster care and for judges and others who work with youth regarding their rights, including State and local examples.
Changing the Face of Independent Living
ABA Child Law Practice, 20(6), 2001
Discusses a law that required a shift in philosophy about independent living training to ensure that youth learn the necessary skills for making the transition from foster care to emancipation.
Dependent Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Guide for Judges
Juvenile Law Center (2003)
Outlines questions that judges should ask during permanency hearings to ensure that agencies are complying with the Foster Care Independence Act as well as goals for permanency stipulated by the Adoption and Safe Families Act.
Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (PDF - 189 KB)
The full text of the Federal legislation.
The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2002)
Discusses the role judges can play in the development of State independent living policies by offering their assistance with the formation of their State's 5-year independent living plan.
Improving Outcomes for Older Youth: What Judges and Attorneys Need to Know (PDF - 2553 KB)
National Resource Center for Youth Development (2004)
Provides judges and attorneys with a basic information about the Federal programs available to youth aging out of care and tools to advocate for the best interest of all youth in foster care.
Legal Rights of Teens in Out-of-Home Care. Rev. ed. (PDF - 222 KB)
Youth Law Center (2003)
Covers some of the areas of the law that might concern a person in out-of-home care.
Litigating the Independent Living Case
ABA Center on Children and the Law (1999)
Strategies for advocating for appropriate independent living services for teens in foster care.
Passage of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999: A Pivotal Step on Behalf of Youth Aging Out of Foster Care and Into a Life of Poverty
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, 7(2), 2000
Discusses the Independent Living Program, an initiative providing States with funds to provide transitional living training for youth who are aging out of the foster care system.
Promoting the Well-being of Older Youth in the Dependency System
Pokempner & Rosado (2004)
In Representing Children, Families, and Agencies in Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Custody, and Adoption Proceedings
Explores the unique needs of teenagers and young adults in the dependency system, the poor outcomes of older youth leaving the child welfare system, and strategies for meeting their service needs.
State and local examples
I Will Speak up for Myself: Your Legal Rights in Foster Care
Center for Children's Advocacy (2004)
Describes the legal rights of children in foster care and the responsibilities of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.
Pennsylvania Judicial Deskbook: A Guide to Statutes, Judicial Decisions and Recommended Practices for Cases Involving Dependent Children in Pennsylvania, 4th ed. (PDF - 1239 KB)
Judicial Law Center (2004)
Part III discusses the rights of older youth in the foster care system, provides an overview of the Foster Care Independence Act, details the effect of the Adoption and Safe Families Act on older youth, and suggests ways juvenile courts can ensure older youths' well-being at permanency review hearings. Part IV provides a detailed look at dependent children's rights to physical and behavioral health care.
Teens Aging Out of Foster Care in Oregon: A Guide to Transition Planning for Caseworkers, Judges and Advocates (PDF - 863 KB)
Juvenile Rights Project (2004)
Discusses the limited support available for teens aging out of the child welfare system, including the lack of transition planning, goal setting, and skills training in essential areas such as education, finances, health care, and social networking.
A Teen's Legal Guide to Foster Care in Oregon (PDF - 206 KB)
Juvenile Rights Project (2002)
Provides information to teens on their legal rights, foster care, and going to court.