Florida's Children First

LEGAL HEALTH CHECK UP: Free Legal Consultation for Young Adults 18-25 who Spent Time in Foster Care – Updated 5.2023

A Legal Health Check Up is a FREE personal meeting with a lawyer who will review all aspects of your life and help you determine whether you have current un?met legal needs. UPDATED 5.23 LEGAL HEALTH CHECK UP

Independent Living Benefits Chart – UPDATED 8.22

Florida’s independent living laws offer terrific benefits for young people. But the laws are complex and basic placement decisions can have enormous consequences. The Independent Living Benefit Chart advises readers about the law and benefits available to young people based on placement type.  It is intended to help young people and the adults who work […]

College for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Students, Families, and Educators

“College for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Students, Families, and Educators” and offers information for students with disabilities and their families to find resources to help with their dream of a college education. There are many pathways to achieve independence through higher education, and Maryville University has created this helpful “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) […]

Youth Efficacy/Empowerment Scale – Mental Health & Youth Participation in Planning Scale Packet – English & Spanish

This packet contains introductory information about two scales meant to help you measure youth empowerment and participation.  The Youth Efficacy/Empowerment Scale – Mental Health was designed to assess youth perceptions of efficacy with respect to managing their mental health conditions as well as utilizing services and supports.  The Youth Participation in Planning Scale assesses youth […]

Best Practices for Increasing Meaningful Youth Participation in Collaborative Team Planning

This brief offers tips to increase meaningful youth participation in collaborative team planning meetings. Access Document Here

“During Meetings I Can’t Stand It When…” A Guide for Facilitators and Team Members – English & Spanish

This tip sheet helps meeting facilitators and team members address common issues that occur during team meetings in order to promote meaningful youth participation. English Version          Spanish Version

Tips for Your Team Meetings: A Guide for Youth – English & Spanish

This tip sheet offers suggestions and strategies to help young people become more involved in their team planning meetings. English Version       Spanish Version

US Department of Education: New Foster Care Transition Toolkit Offers Tips for Helping Foster Youth Succeed as Adults

The U.S. Department of Education today released a new toolkit to inspire and support current and former foster youth pursuing college and career opportunities. The Foster Care Transition Toolkit includes tips and resources intended to help foster youth access and navigate social, emotional, educational and skills barriers as they transition into adulthood. Currently, there are […]

Supporting Youth In Foster Care: Making Healthy Choices

This guide is designed to help you learn more about treatment for youth in foster care who have experienced trauma and are working to improve their mental health. Chapters 2 and 3 can help you better understand trauma and treatments for trauma. Chapters 4 and 5 talk about strategies for helping youth. Read: Supporting Youth In […]

Making Healthy Choices: A Guide for Psychotropic Medications for Youth in Foster Care

View Making Healthy Choices: A Guide for Psychotropic Medications for Youth in Foster Care

Out of the Shadows: Supporting LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare Through Cross System Collaboration

This report highlights the research on the disparities that exist between LGBTQ foster youth and their non-LGBTQ peers, as well as the compounding effects these factors have in relation to other intersecting factors including race, ethnicity, culture and language. It also discusses successful policy strategies and state examples of efforts that are addressing system and practice obstacles. Out of the Shadows: […]

Juvenile Record Expunction Update: Know Your Rights

This law (SB 386) drops the automatic expunction age from 24 to 21. It also allows some young adults to seek expunction of their juvenile records prior to age 21 – if they haven’t committed a crime within the last 5 years. Additionally, it removes the 12-month limitation on seeking expunction of juvenile diversion records. […]

Tuition Exemption: Know Your Rights

In March, 2016, the Board of the Governors of the Florida State University System realized the need to revise its Regulation that limited the use of the tuition exemption to a maximum of 120 credit hours in undergraduate courses – which was not correct according to current law. The revised Regulation will make it clear […]

Stolen Future-Foster Youth Identity Theft

Stolen Future -The foster care system in the United States serves approximately 700,000 youths. Every year over 26,000 of those children age out of foster care. As those youths transition into adulthood, good credit is essential. If a foster youth’s credit has been damaged by identity theft, then that young person may not be able to get a job, apply for student loans, obtain […]

Supporting Your LGBTQ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents

This factsheet was written for foster parents to help them learn about LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth in the child welfare system, the unique risks they face, and the important role that foster parents can play in reducing those risks. The factsheet outlines specific actions that foster parents can take to create […]

Q&A: Exemption from Disqualification

The process to get approved for a job that requires a state of Florida background screening for people with criminal convictions. For all your questions and answers, click on the link below. Exemption from Disqualification

Seal & Expunge Criminal History Record

For all questions about how to go about sealing and expunging any criminal records, please click on the full PDF report below. Seal & Expunge Packet

ILSAC Report 2012

Click here to view the full report

Alphabet Soup – Top Terms You Need to Know

Alphabet Soup – Top Terms You Need to Know

Top Ten Actions Florida Can Take to Eliminate the Unnecessary Use of Psychotropic Medications

Top Ten Actions Florida Can Take to Eliminate the Unnecessary Use of Psychotropic Medications

Child’s Right to Post-Adoption Communication: Myths That Impede Healthy Relationships -Truths That Hurt

This paper dispels the myths that underlie the harmful practice of cutting off communication between adopted children and their siblings and other relatives.

Psychotropic Medications and Children in Foster Care: Tips for Advocates and Judges

The ABA Center on Children and the Law published this public policy brief to assist advocates and judges who work with children and youth who are prescribed psychotropic medication

Rights and Resources Guide:

This booklet informs pregnant and parenting youth in foster care of their Rights and Resources. Published by the National Crittenton Foundation

The National Crittenton Foundation

The National Crittenton Foundation supports girls, young women, and their families living at the margin of the American dream overcome major obstacles rooted in circumstances not of their own making

Know Your Rights: MONEY

Our most recent publication! This booklet covers key issues for youth in out-of-home care: obtaining money, master trust accounts, and special concerns for youth with disabilities.

How to Get Your Child Welfare Records

Children and young adults are entitled to a complete and accurate copy of their child welfare records under Florida Statute 39.00145. This publication explains the law and provides a form to help youth make a formal request for records.

Adult Adoption: Brochure & Forms

Many young people are discouraged about adoption because they think they’ve missed the change to connect with forever family. But it’s never too late! This brochure explains the Florida law on adult adoptions. The separate appendix provides the documents and forms for adult adoptions.

Your Future, Your Choice: A Guide to What Every Teen Should Know About the Law

This handbook helps youth understand what actions can get you in trouble with the law. It identifies the acts for which minors are often charged, illustrates the behavior that can result in arrest, and highlights the consequences of arrest and adjudication. This is a publication of the University of Florida Levin College of Law Center on Children and Families, March 2009, revised September 2010.

Center on Children and Families: University of Florida Levin College of Law

The mission of the Center on Children and Families is to promote the highest quality of advocacy, teaching and scholarship in the areas of child & family law and policy.


Florida's Children First

YouTube Facebook