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Advocate Tip: Right of Children in CPS Care

Right of Children in CPS Care

Children who are in the Temporary or Permanent Managing Conservatorship of Child Protective Services are entitled to a specific set of rights while they remain in care. As a CASA volunteer it is helpful to understand what rights children in foster care have and what actions can be taken if a child’s rights are being violated. The information below is not an exhaustive list of children’s rights while in foster care. For a full list of children’s rights please contact your CASA supervisor.

Rights of All Children

All children in CPS care are entitled to the same set of rights. However, some of these rights can be restricted due to a child’s individual behaviors or by court order. For example, all children have the right to live with or have regular visitations with their siblings who are also in foster care. However, if a child’s behavior poses a risk to the safety of their siblings that right can be restricted. In this situation, the child’s caseworker is required to explain those restrictions to the child and document those restriction in the case file. Some other rights of children in care include the right to have personal possessions at their home (within reasonable limits), the right to attend or not attend religious services, and the right to an education that fits their age and individual needs. All children also have the right to have a copy of the Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care and to have their rights reviewed with them at every placement change.    

Rights of Youth 16 and Older

Youth ages 16 and older are entitled to an additional set of rights. For example, all youth have the right to attend PAL classes, take part in a Circle of Support or Transition Planning Meeting, and seek proper employment. Youth also have the right to consent to their own medical care when authorized by the court. Once a youth leaves care, they have the right to receive all necessary personal information (ex. immunization records, proof of Medicaid enrollment, and educational records) within 30 days of leaving care.

If a Child’s Rights are Violated

If a child feels that their rights have been violated they do have the right to file a complaint. Children can file complaints with either the DFPS Consumer Affairs Office or Disability Rights of Texas. They also have the right to call the Texas Abuse/Neglect Hotline to report any incidents or abuse or neglect. Any child that files a complaint or makes a report of abuse or neglect cannot be punished or threatened with punishment for filing a complaint. If a child reports to their CASA volunteer that their rights are being violated, contact the child’s caseworker and attorney to notify them of the situation.

1. Can a child’s rights be restricted in any way? Why or Why not?

2. True or False. Children have the right to receive a copy of the Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care at every placement change.

3. What can children do if they believe their rights have been violated? 

To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Anna Munoz at