PROTECTING THE RIGHT OF EVERY FOSTER CHILD IN CALIFORNIA TO SAFETY, SECURITY, AND A PERMANENT HOME
Advokids provides the only free telephone hotline offering legal information to anyone concerned about a child in foster care in California.
Hotline: 877.ADV4KID (877.238.4543)
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:30pm
We are unable to provide legal information to people who are represented by a lawyer.
Attorney Consultation Line: 877.238.4543
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:30pm
TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE A LIFETIME
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.
Andrew came into foster care at birth and was placed in a foster-to adopt home with Alicia and her husband. Andrew was 11 months old and thriving in their care when Alicia was told that Andrew was to be moved to a distant cousin whom he had never met. When Alicia called Advokids, visits had begun with the cousin and Alicia and Andrew’s pediatrician were very concerned about Andrew and the behavioral and health stress signals that Andrew was exhibiting after visits, including asthma attacks.
Mindful of the trauma a placement disruption could cause, Advokids’ hotline staff helped Alicia petition the juvenile court and share a letter of medical concern from Andrew’s pediatrician. In his letter, the doctor described the symptoms Andrew was exhibiting and shared the research findings on the dangers of precipitously moving a 12 month old who is securely attached to his caregivers.
Advokids also reached out to our pro bono panel and enlisted an attorney to help Andrew’s foster-to- adopt parents. With the help of the pro bono attorney, Andrew’s foster-to-adopt parents fully participated in their court hearing and brought vital information to the judge about Andrew and the laws that protected his current placement. As a result, the court intervened to stop the move and ordered Andrew to remain with Alicia and her husband, caregivers who had a deep, stable bond that was deemed to be critical for Andrew’s well being.
They are currently awaiting adoption finalization.
Advokids Executive Director, Margaret Coyne, is quoted in this TIME article regarding family separation at the border and these migrant children’s entrance into a foster system that is not equipped to support them. “We now have the federal government proactively causing early childhood trauma.” Read the article written by Jennifer Calfas here.Read More
Advokids’ lawsuit settlement terms signed on October 19th, 2017, require Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services to improve and document their notice policies to foster and relative caregivers and to put those policies in place no later than April 19, 2018.
The notice statutes and California Department of Social Services (CDSS) policies that we fought to enforce include foster and relative caregivers’ right to notice of a foster child’s court hearings and their right to receive a copy of the JV-290 Caregiver Information Form and JV-290 Info Form with the notice of hearings.
It was a great victory for children as courts will make better decisions about foster children’s’ lives and futures if they hear from the caregivers who know the children best…