PROTECTING THE RIGHT OF EVERY FOSTER CHILD IN CALIFORNIA TO SAFETY, SECURITY, AND A PERMANENT HOME.
CALL OUR HOTLINE
LEGAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Advokids provides the only free telephone hotline offering legal information to anyone concerned about a child in foster care in California.
Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:30pm
We are unable to provide legal information to people who are represented by a lawyer.
Children's Attorney Consultation Line:
Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:30pm
- Child Welfare Law Information Hotline
- Children’s Attorney Consultation Line
- Child Welfare Legal Tools and Resources
- Statewide Trainings and Conferences
- Statewide Child Welfare Reform
- Appellate and Amicus Project
California is home to 60,000 foster children, 1/3 of these foster children are under the age of 5
Many children spend 2+ years in foster care and experience multiple placements.
Permanent placements and enduring relationships protect foster children’s long-term emotional, cognitive and developmental health.
TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE A LIFETIME
Advokids Spotlighted In National Child Welfare Publication
Free Legal Hotline Empowers California Foster Caregivers
Written by Leah Burdick January 27, 2017
As an advocate for foster youth and foster parents, I’ve heard many foster parents complain that they feel voiceless when it comes to decision making and input into the well-being of a child in their care. If a child’s been with the foster parents for a time, they will have bonded, and the foster parents will be intimately aware of the child’s needs and sensitivities....
Where is a foster parent to turn for quick, inexpensive guidance when they feel their input is ignored or that decisions are being made that do not reflect the child’s best interest?
In California there’s Advokids, a legal non-profit that offers the only telephone hotline (877-238-4543) providing free legal information to anyone concerned about a child living in foster care...
BRIDGING LAW AND TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE
Advokids would like to acknowledge and thank Catherine Deridder MD, Jessica Richards MS, MSW, LCSW, and the UC Davis Center For Human Services for allowing us to share "Bridging Law and Trauma-Informed Care" with you. We collaborated with Catherine and Jessica in 2015 and asked them to create a training specifically for attorneys who represent children in foster care to enhance practitioner's awareness and encourage trauma-informed representation. We are so proud of their webinar!
CHILDREN NEED STABILITY AND SECURITY IN THEIR EARLY YEARS.
In her TED Talk, San Francisco pediatrician Dr. Burke explains, “We now understand better than we ever have before how exposure to early adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children.” This new research is essential when advocating on behalf of foster children. The difference between toxic stress and tolerable stress is an adult caregiver to be a buffer. We need to provide for the caregiver to be that buffer.
Nadine Burke Harris, Keynote, Zero to Three National Training Institute, December 2, 2015
MEET OUR CHILDREN
Daniel just turned 5 and has been in foster care for 19 months. He is in his third placement. Daniel was going to have to miss his school performance to attend his court hearing this week. His fost-adopt mom and dad were worried because Daniel was afraid to go to court and very sad about missing a big day at school. They called Advokids’ free telephone hotline for help.
Advokids’ legal telephone hotline staff explained to Daniel’s ‘s fost-adopt parents that since he is now 5, the law requires his attorney to see him before each court hearing but he is not required to go to court. We encouraged them to email Daniel’s attorney and underscore Daniel’s history of trauma, his fears, and his need for stability. Daniel’s attorney accommodated a meeting with Daniel in the privacy of her office, and Daniel performed in his school play with his classmates. It was a great day!
"The Googlers" at the Foster Child Advocates of the Year Awards
November 10, 2016
Advokids’ “Child Advocates of the Year” awards were presented to two San Francisco Bay area professionals on Nov. 12th. Duane Morris LLP hosted the awards ceremony at their San Francisco law offices located at One Market Plaza.
In presenting the awards, Margaret Coyne, our executive director applauded attorney Blaire Stokes and engineer Loic Julliard for stepping up to help foster children. They came on board knowing little about the child welfare system but quickly realized that with their time and expertise they could radically improve the lives of individual children and the system as a whole.
Blaire Stokes, 32, from Orinda, was a young civil litigator for the law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP in 2014 when the firm asked her to help with a pro bono case for Advokids. The hotline staff was working on a case out of Sacramento County involving a traumatic placement disruption of an 18-month old child. Ms. Stokes fought and won an appeal persuading the appellate court that the county’s actions had violated the law and then she went on to re-try the case in the trial court. After hearing the evidence, the court ordered that the child be immediately returned to the foster parent's custody so that she could finally be adopted. Blaire was tirelessly committed to the case for over 19 months—she won against all odds. Her legal advocacy not only made a significant difference in the life and well-being of one child, it resulted in an important published appellate opinion that serves as legal precedent for juvenile courts faced with similar cases.”
Loic Juillard, 41, a senior engineer for Salesforce in San Francisco responded when Advokids reached out to the Salesforce non-profit support team for technical assistance over four years ago. From the very start, Loic engaged with the Advokids’ staff like a seasoned foster child advocate. He quickly understood the complexity of the child welfare system and deeply cared about the lives of our children. Mr. Juillard improved Advokids’ data collection and created a tool that auto-generates a “timeline” for each child they serve—a visual display of the child’s history in foster care, the lags and drags of the court system, and the adversity the child experienced. We hope that Loic’s vision and engineering genius will ultimately create a user-friendly child advocacy tool that will radically improve the lives of all foster children.
Words don't even come close to describing what Advokids means to me and my family. They saved our foster child's LIFE!!! The whole staff treats each child as if it is their own. At Advokids, the child is not a number. He or she is a real person with emotions and feelings. Please donate so that they can continue to help each one of us to give our foster children a VOICE in the courtroom.
Kelli – Foster to Adopt Parent
My journey with Advokids began with one prayer, one click and one letter on their website. Advokids was heaven sent. They immediately responded, educated, empowered, and assisted me beyond belief. After seven months of excruciating heartache I am forever grateful that I was reunited with my little girl. Because of Advokids’ tireless efforts, dedication and passion to our children, foster parents and relative caretakers, my faith has been completely restored in pure human goodness!!! Thank you!
Tiana – Foster Parent
I wanted to update you a bit and thank you again for all of your calm assistance during the sometimes turbulent last 14 months. Your guidance and compassion during this process was more than appreciated. It wasn't until we contacted you that we felt someone actually cared. You actually took the time to listen and talk us off all of the "ledges" this process presents. Your quick responses provided us comfort and reassurance, and we cannot thank you enough for being there for us.
Kristin – Foster to Adopt Parent
As an agency social worker I am always looking for support from those educated about the law and dedicated to helping foster youth. I have reached out to Advokids on a variety of occasions asking for help and information on law. They have never failed me. Furthermore, I usually receive an email or a phone call in under an hour's time.
I encourage my foster parents to contact Advokids when in need and have several families who call them almost daily. Their kindness never wavers and their advice is priceless.
Danielle - Social Worker, Modesto, CA