Foster Child Bill of Rights

Ratified in Congress Hall, Philadelphia

Saturday, the Twenty-eighth of April, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Three

Reaffirmed during the National Focus on Foster Care Conference, Norfolk, Virginia

Wednesday, the Fourth of May, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Three

 Even more than for other children, society has a responsibility, along with parents, for the well-being of children in foster care. Citizens are responsible for acting to insure their welfare.

Every child in foster care is endowed with the rights inherently belonging to all children. In addition, because of the temporary or permanent separation from, and loss of, parents and other family members, the child requires special safeguards, resources, and care.


Article the first
….to be cherished by a family of his own, either his family helped by readily available services and supports to resume his care, or an adoptive family or, by plan, a continuing foster family.

Article the second
….to be nurtured by foster parents who have been selected to meet his individual needs, and who are provided services and supports, including specialized education, so that they can grow in their ability to enable the child to reach his potentiality.

Article the third
….to receive sensitive, continuing help in understanding and accepting the reasons for his own family’s inability to take care of him, and in developing confidence in his own self worth.

Article the fourth
….to receive continuing loving care and respect as a unique human being…a child growing in trust in himself and others.

Article the fifth
….to grow up in freedom and dignity in a neighborhood of people who accept him with understanding, respect and friendship.

Article the sixth
….to receive help in overcoming deprivation or whatever distortion in his emotional, physical, intellectual, social and spiritual growth may have resulted from his early experiences.

Article the seventh
….to receive education, training, and career guidance to prepare for a useful and satisfying life.

Article the eighth
….to receive preparation for citizenship and parenthood through interaction with foster parents and other adults who are consistent role models.

Article the ninth
….to be represented by an attorney-at-law in administrative or judicial proceedings with access to fair hearings and court review of decisions, so that his best interests are safeguarded.

Article the tenth
….to receive a high quality of child welfare services, including involvement of the natural parents and his own involvement in major decisions that affect his life.

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