Children & Youth Law Clinic - Cases, Projects, Resources

Current and Former Foster Youth

Clinic clients are primarily current and former foster youth. Nationwide studies have shown that a disproportionate number of foster youth end up homeless, on welfare, institutionalized in state mental hospitals or in prison after they leave foster care. The Children & Youth Law Clinic helps Florida's foster youths avoid those dire outcomes by helping them get the support they need from state government to make the difficult transition to self-sufficient adulthood.

The Clinic primarily represents children and young adults in the following matters:

  • Dependency
  • Road to Independence (RTI) and other independent living advocacy and administrative hearings
  • Special Education
  • Medicaid and Medicaid Waiver administrative hearings
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Public Benefits
  • Emancipation
  • Temporary Custody by Relative Caregivers
  • Guardianship
  • Immigration

Children and Youth Law Clinic Publications

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  • A Data Study of Foster Children who Refused Placement in Hillsborough County

    This report is a response to public concern over children who have refused placements in Hillsborough county. The report finds that these children were part of a system experiencing extreme placement instability. The report is offered to the Hillsborough community to provide information to help reduce that instability.

    Read the Report

  • Avoiding Pot Holes on Florida's "Road to Independence": Advocacy for Independent Living Services for Foster Youth

    Based on concern for older foster youth, Congress passed the federal Independent Living Initiative in 1985 to provide funding to the states to assist foster youth who have attained age 16 in making the transition from foster care to adulthood. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 677. The intent of the Independent Living Initiative was to ensure that states would provide all older foster youth with independent living services and skills training to prevent these children from ending up homeless, on welfare, or institutionalized.

    Read the Report

  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Florida: A Guide for Judges, Lawyers and Child Advocates

    The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Florida: A Guide for Judges, Lawyers, and Child Advocates Manual is intended to provide an overview of the process of applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Florida and to help point out potential difficulties in the process. These materials are meant to assist judges, attorneys, social workers, accredited representatives and advocates in assisting those children potentially qualified for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. The Manual, however, is not meant as a replacement for experienced legal support. Readers should consult with an experienced attorney in immigration or juvenile dependency matters to ensure that a child receives the best possible representation throughout the process. Although this Manual provides an overview of federal and state law with regard to SIJ Status, it is geared to assisting lawyers, social workers and judges operating in Florida

    Read the Manual

  • Minors' Access to Confidential Health Care In Florida

    As a general rule, Florida law requires a minor who seeks medical treatment to obtain the consent of a parent or guardian. However, there are several important exceptions, which are described in this pamphlet. A minor who understands the risks, benefits and proposed alternatives to certain health services may give informed consent, and need not get the consent of a parent or guardian, as outlined in this card.

    Read the Pamphlet

  • Improving Educational Outcomes for Florida's Children in Foster Care

    This report assesses what local interagency agreements say on paper, but does not report on actual practices. We hope that counties use this report as an opportunity to assess both whether their agreements include all necessary provisions and whether their actual practices comport with their agreements. Additionally, this report may be used as a resource for school and child welfare administrators working together to promote school success for children in out-of-home care.

    Read the Report

  • Landlord/Tenant Project

    An eviction is the process your landlord has to follow to legally remove you from the apartment or house you are renting. There are very specific rules the landlord must follow, and you need to know your role in the process too.

    Read about the Project

  • Youth Health Rights Handbook

    Through our work with clients and community groups in Miami, we became aware of how difficult it is for anyone, but especially youth, to find information about their rights as they relate to health care and services. It is our hope that this handbook will provide readers with an easy-to use and practical guide to the basics of health rights for minors.

    Read the Handbook