Youth in Foster Care Bill of Rights

The Representative Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights 
(Part of and supplemental to K.S.A. 38-2201 et seq.)

The Youth in Foster Care Bill of Rights is a crucial set of guidelines that ensures the wellbeing and protection of children experiencing foster care. It emphasizes their rights to a safe and stable living environment, access to basic necessities, education, and communication with professionals involved in their care. By outlining these rights, it aims to empower and advocate for the needs of youth, promoting their overall wellbeing and healthy development.

See the specific rights below and find the full bill text here.

The purpose of the Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights is, consistent with the policy expressed in and pursuant to KSA 38-2201, in order to ensure the proper care and protection of a child in need of care in the child welfare system, unless otherwise ordered by the court, a child shall have the following right to:
  • Live in a safe, comfortable placement, in accordance with KSA 38-2255
    • Where the child lives in the least restrictive environment
    • where the child shall be treated with respect, have a place to store belongings and receive healthy food, adequate clothing, and appropriate personal hygiene products
    • with siblings when possible; and
    • upon proper investigation and consideration in accordance with 38-2242, and amendments thereto, with a relative, kinship care placement or someone from such child’s community with similar religious beliefs or ethnic heritage;
  • have visits with family;
  • have as few placements as possible;
  • have and maintain belongings by:
    • making a list of belongings to have when placed out of home
    • providing such list of belongings to such child’s case manager
    • bringing such belongings when placed out of home and
    • if going on a visit or to a new placement, having belongings packed and transportable for the visit or move
  • have access to all appropriate school supplies, services, tutoring, extra-curricular and personal enrichment activities;
  • attend school daily in accordance with K.S.A. 38-2218, and amendments thereto
  • receive a HS diploma if such child has earned the standard credits in accord with KSA 38-2285
  • be notified of all hearings held pursuant to the revised KS CIC when age or developmentally appropriate
  • attend in person or virtually, all court hearing s held pursuant to CINC code when age or developmentally appropriate;
  • address the court regarding any proposed placement or placement change in accord with KSA 38-2262, and amendments thereto, when age or developmentally appropriate
  • have a guardian ad litem represent best interests of the child in accordance with KSA 38-2205, and amendments thereto, and contact child regularly;
  • request an attorney who will represent the position of the child, if they are different than the determinations of the guardians ad litem, in accordance with K.S.A. 38-2205 and amendments thereto;
  • have privacy to send and receive unopened mail and make and receive phone calls;
  • have regular and private contact with and access to case managers, attorneys, and advocates;
  • access accurate and necessary information for such child’s well-being from case managers, guardians and any person who is by law liable to maintain, care for or support the child;
  • have as few case managers as possible;
  • contact a case manager’s supervisor if there is a conflict that cannot be resolved between such child and such child’s case manager;
  • report a violation of this section without fear of punishment, interference, coercion, or retaliation; and
  • when transitioning out of the child welfare system:
    • be an active participant in developing a transition plan, as defined in KSA 38-2202, and amendments thereto;
    • have services and benefits explained;
    • have a checking or savings account;
    • learn to manage money, when age or developmentally appropriate;
    • learn job skills that are age or developmentally appropriate;
    • be involved in life skills training and activities.