450 N Syndicate St, Suite 340, St. Paul, MN 55104 info@clcmn.org 651-644-4438

Why do children need lawyers?

  • In most cases, foster children have been abused or neglected. They need to be protected from being further traumatized by the system.
  • Navigating child welfare court systems is complicated and confusing.
  • Minnesota state law allows children ages 10 and older to request a court-appointed attorney. However, many children attend court alone or not at all.
  • Foster children are often not aware of the services and support to which they are entitled, such as sibling contact and independent living skills training.
  • Judges do not typically meet with children before court dates, and only know what is written in their file.
  • When foster children misbehave, they are often sent to overly restrictive placements and do not receive the same support that non-foster care peers do for the same behavior.
  • It is important for children who are transitioning out of foster care to have a plan in place that will help them manage the next stages of their lives. Although required by law, these plans are often not implemented early enough and sometimes not at all.

Lilia Panteleeva, CLC executive director and Sekou Moore, CLC former client explain why foster children need attorneys.