When you make your initial call to our office, you will speak with a member of our team who will take you through a 5-10 minute structured intake. This intake gives the hotline staff relevant information about the child in the case, including where the case is in regards to the juvenile dependency timeline.The intake process also allows our staff to assess whether or not Advokids’ hotline is an appropriate resource for you.
After you complete the intake, a member of our hotline staff will contact you within 1-3 business days to answer your questions and provide resources. You will have the opportunity to provide more details about the case when the staff member returns your call. Advokids’ staff may provide ongoing support via phone and email as needed.
Will my information or the child’s information be released?
We are an independent non-profit organization and are not affiliated with a governing agency or county. We do not ask for the child’s last name or case number in order to protect confidentiality. None of the information that you give us is released or reported and your county or social worker is not notified that you called us. We will protect your privacy and confidentiality to the extent we are legally able to do so when you access our services.
I just have one simple question, do I need to go through an intake?
Yes. Every case is different and most have nuances that influence the type of actions that are appropriate. It is imperative we understand where the case is and the context of the question in order to provide the best guidance we can.
I am represented by an attorney, but I haven’t been in touch with them.
If you are currently represented by an attorney, even if you have not been in touch with them recently or consistently, Advokids can not speak with you directly at this time. You may ask your attorney to call our attorney consultation line if you feel your case could benefit from our service.
If you are having issues with your attorney or they will not call you back, take these steps to address the problem.
The case is not in California.
Advokids’ services are only applicable to dependency cases in or moving to and from California because our expertise and experience is California specific. If you are outside California, check in with the Legal Aid Society in your county to look for resources that may be appropriate for you.
I still need help, there is a new problem with the foster child’s case.
You are encouraged to have ongoing communication with our staff directly via email and phone as long as you have questions and needs. Many hotline clients keep in touch with us for months, some years, and many call us for multiple children and multiple cases.
I need an attorney.
Advokids does not provide any direct representation. We may be able to provide referrals to attorneys in your county if we believe they are an appropriate fit for your case.
I am an attorney.
When you call please identify yourself and your client’s relationship to the child. We will ask a few contextual background questions about the case (county, upcoming hearings, etc) and give your contact information to Janet Sherwood who provides consultations. She will return your call within 1-3 business days.
How much does it cost?
Advokids is a free service. We encourage our clients to become our supporters and make a one time donation of $100 if they are able, to help us expand and provide advocacy to the increasing number of foster children in California.
What can I do in the meantime?
Visit the Advokids website, read up on the Juvenile Court Process and review the other legal tools that may fit your situation. The website is expansive and informative and will help you advocate for a child in foster care or at risk of entering care.