Foster Care Youth - Advocate for yourself

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Foster Care Youth Arise!

This is a blog for foster care youth and those who care about them to share ideas on how to advocate for themselves within the system.

YOU are your best advocate!


  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger Janet said…

    As you are going through the chain of command (see public website for contact lists click on contact us), trying to get what
    you need, remember a few helpful hints when advocating for yourself.
    Most of all, remember that you have a right to ask for help.
    DON’T feel like you are bothering people.
    DON’T hesitate to ask for help.
    DON’T think that you have no control.
    DON’T think that you have to go through this by yourself.
    DON’T think it’s too late.
    DON’T start without thinking things
    DON’T use sarcasm or degrading
    DON’T swear or namecall.
    DON’T prejudge others.
    DON’T give up.

    DO know that you have a right to ask for help.
    DO ask for help from an adult that you trust (Your Guardian Ad Litem, Life Skills Caseworker, Counselor, Mentor, Advocate, Foster Parent, or Friend).
    DO know that you have control over some things, even though it feels like everyone else has control. You can control:
    - Who you ask to help you
    - Using the chain of command
    - Speaking your truths
    DO be clear about:
    - What’s happening
    - What’s needed
    - How you feel
    DO brainstorm different solutions and backup plans.
    DO be straightforward and truthful.
    DO be ready to negotiate.
    “You’ve got to regain
    your goals and dreams to
    continue with life. If you
    don’t have your goals and
    dreams, you don’t have
    much of your life.”
    (Brad Levesque excert from: )

  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Janet said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 3:01 PM, Blogger child welfare worker said…

    As a foster care youth, if you are not getting what you need through the chain of command, do not hesitate to ask to speak directly to the judge at a hearing. You have the right to speak to the judge and the law says that you are supposed to be invited to come to review hearings at least every six months. Your voice can be heard by the judge even if the laws or policies tie your caseworkers hands.

  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger A former DCF worker said…

    If you are a youth in foster care, be sure to send written input to the Court for your hearings. If you are not being informed of your hearings, then just send some input about every 4 months. You need to include your Name, Date Of Birth, Case Number (aka Family File Number), and Division (i.e. D, S, C, etc.). If you don't have this information ask your HKI Care Manager, foster parent, or GAL for the information. Anything filed with the Court is also supposed to be provided to your HKI Care Manager, as well as your parents (if their rights aren't terminated) and their attorneys (if they have attorneys).

    Clerk of the Circuit Court
    Courthouse Annex
    801 East Twiggs St.
    4th Floor, Room 452
    Tampa, FL 33602


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