Download the Foster Rights & Expectations brochure
When Should I Get this Brochure?
When you come into foster care, you can expect that your case manager will provide you with a copy of this Youth in Foster Care Rights and Expectations brochure and explain it to you. You can ask questions so that you can better understand what is happening. After any placement change or every six months, whichever comes first, you will be reminded about and explained these rights, provided with the document, and able to share any concerns or questions.
Where Do these Rights Come From?
These rights come from many different sources. Some of the rights come from the United States Constitution, others from the Florida Constitution. Florida statutes (laws) and federal statutes also outline and direct the expectations and services that should be provided. You have the right to enjoy the same rights established in the Constitutions of the United States and Florida as every other person in the state and country. You also have the right to be given the opportunity to participate in developing your case plan, and that the case plan includes your rights to education, health, visitation, court participation, and safety.
THE DEPARTMENT’S COMMITMENT TO YOU
The Department of Children and Families is committed to making sure that everyone responsible for providing care and services to children in foster care will meet the expectations listed here.
The Department would like to thank Florida Youth Leadership Academy, Florida Youth Shine, and One Voice IMPAACT for all their hard work to update this brochure.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT...
- To receive an education that meets your individual needs
- To have access to developmentally appropriate activities and other resources that will help with your educational needs
- To have your case plan include your education records, including your most recent school information, grade level, school records, and any other relevant educational record
- To have these records provided to you and your placement at the time of each new placement
- To ensure you have educational stability, including making sure your school is close to where you are currently living
- To be able to stay at your original school even during placement changes if it’s possible. If that can’t happen, you will be provided immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school (Every Student Succeeds Act)
- To receive healthcare regularly (includes, but not limited to, medical, dental, and immunizations) and to understand the reason behind the healthcare decision
- Your case plan should include your health and/or mental health records, including the contact information for your doctors, your shots and medications records, and any other relevant health information
- To have these health records provided to you and your placement at the time of each new placement
- To receive Medicaid (up to age 26), as long as you meet eligibility criteria
- To be appointed an attorney ad litem if there are certain special circumstances in your case, or if a judge decides you need one
- To go to court and talk to the judge about decisions being made about your case, but know you may be asked by the judge to leave for certain parts of the hearing if it is not in your best interest to remain
- If you are not present at a hearing, the judge will determine if it is important for you to be there, and, if so, you will be given the opportunity to be at the hearing
- Beginning at age 13, to start receiving additional support and coordination to help you develop skills to help you after you turn 18
- If you age out of care at 18, to receive a copy of your birth certificate, Social Security card, health insurance information, copy of medical and education records, and a driver’s license or other state-issued identification card
- Beginning at age 17, to have written confirmation given to the judge that you have received information on the Post Secondary Educations Services and Support, Extended Foster Care, and Aftercare programs, and how to apply for public assistance (if needed), a clear understanding of where you will be living when you turn 18, a process for accessing your case file, and a letter for the dates in which you were in care