Youth in foster care have a variety of supports and services available to them while in care, but in order to be successful and thrive, youth must also be aware of their rights. To support youth in making informed decisions about their lives, they must be educated about the choices they have. The following resources provide information that outlines the rights available to youth in foster care and provide vital information about their safety, placement, health, education, finances, court proceedings, and more, including State and local examples.
Foster Care Bill of Rights
National Conference of State Legislatures (2019)
Informs children and foster parents of youth's rights within the child welfare system and lists states and territories where Foster Children's Bill of Rights have been enacted along with descriptions.
Foster Child Bill of Rights
National Foster Parent Association (2019)
Outlines the inherent rights of children in foster care and discusses how because of temporary or permanent separation from parents and other family members, children and youth in foster care require special safeguards, resources, and care.
District of Columbia Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in Foster Care (PDF - 3,564 KB)
The District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (2017)
Provides information on the rights and responsibilities of youth in foster care, including where youth can expect to live while in care, how they should be treated, their right to maintain connections with family members, and more. The guide also provides youth with the steps to take if they are unhappy with child welfare services or decisions.
Foster Youth Education Rights (PDF - 305 KB)
California Department of Education, California Foster Youth Education Task Force, and the Alliance for Children's Rights (2016)
Lists the educational rights for youth in foster care in California; addresses high school, graduation, college, and more.
Foster Youth Mental Health Bill of Rights (PDF - 129 KB)
State of California Health and Human Services Agency, Department of Social Services (2015)
Defines the rights of foster youth in California when it comes to the topic of mental health and reviews expectations of mental health and other care providers when working with foster youth. Additional resources and contacts for more information are also included.
Oregon Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights (PDF - 482 KB)
Oregon Department of Human Services (2017)
Portrays the rights of siblings in foster care to live with or maintain connections with other siblings and family members. A Spanish version (PDF - 557 KB) of the poster, as well as an English (PDF - 152 KB) and Spanish (PDF - 166 KB) of the Bill of Rights are available for all children in foster care. The version for younger youth is also available in English (PDF - 752 KB) and Spanish (PDF - 744 KB).
Rights and Responsibilities for Children and Youth in Foster Care (PDF - 144 KB)
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (2019)
Highlights the rights and responsibilities of children in Michigan's foster care system and includes information on care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, services, safety, and security.
Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Reviews the rights of all children in foster care in Texas, including rights to safety and care, family and other contacts, a normal life, appropriate discipline, good medical care, legal support, and more.
Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care (PDF - 1,651 KB)
Washington Department of Social and Health Services (2016)
Describes the rights of children and youth in Washington's foster care system and also explains how the foster system works, the expectations of foster caregivers, the purpose of a case plan, and reunification efforts.
Youth Advocacy & Rights
Fostering Advocates Arizona
Provides a list of rights that all children in foster care in Arizona are entitled to, as well as the additional rights for youth aged 16 and older.