As National Foster Care Month comes to an end, Juvenile Law Center is excited to announce the launch of our newest tool – a Know Your Rights guide for older youth in the child welfare system in Pennsylvania. This guide will provide youth in Pennsylvania with information about their legal rights in the child welfare system and how they can best advocate for themselves. The guide is presented in a question-and-answer format and covers many of the issues that are important to youth in and leaving the child welfare system. It is also a valuable resource for individuals who work with youth in the foster care system.
“We hope this Guide provides young people crucial information about their rights and ways they can use their rights to advocate for themselves and have more control over their future,” said Senior Attorney Jenny Pokempner. “Youth must be included in the important decisions impacting their lives. Knowledge of their rights and how to navigate the child welfare system is essential for them to play an active and informed role.”
The Guide covers issue areas such as permanency (or finding family), education, career and training, health insurance access, special considerations for youth with disabilities, and more. It will be available both as a web-based tool and for download in PDF form.
Attorney Christina Sorenson, who led the project, states that “being in foster care, I often felt hopeless, powerless and forgotten. When I first discovered I had rights that would be enforced, I began to believe that my voice mattered – I mattered. I hope this Guide helps empower youth in care in Pennsylvania in the same way.”
Learn more here.