For Foster Kids
By accessing this site, you agree to our terms.

Recommended links:

American Family Advocacy Center Blog

Sage Wisdom Press - books and more for anyone seeking information about child welfare

Legal Resources - for attorneys only, parents not allowed

Family Advocate Consumer Advisory - exposing harmful advocates

The Mighty Pen

If you don't know your rights, you have no rights.

If you know your rights and the court won't enforce your rights, you have no rights.

The Pen is Mightier Than the Gavel blog.

FRAI Project

Click to join FamilyRightsAdvocacy IMPROVEMENT Project discussion of the practice of Family Advocacy.
Archives are open to the public.

Amazon search


Maintaining the free flow of information costs money. Please support AFAC with your generous donation.

Website Design

Includes hosting, design and updates. Pricing varies according to your individual needs. More Information contact.

Website Hosting

Website hosting, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage as low as $2.95/month.


Sell your original documents online!

Support Us

Important Notice about using this site

EMAIL THE AMERICAN FAMILY ADVOCACY CENTER ***  Our client lists are confidential. Please do not ask who disclosed certain information to AFAC. This information is not available to the public and will be vigorously guarded from disclosure to protect those clients whose children remain at risk of state-sanctioned kidnaping of their children.

Information included on these pages is not legal advice, we are not attorneys. You are advised to consult with an attorney on any legal matters.

Any legal documents on this site were prepared and/or drafted by attorneys or under the supervision of an attorney, or by pro se respondent parents and/or subject children and are published here with their permission. Any phone calls or other oral communications with our staff may be recorded at our discretion. Any person engaging in conversation with any of our staff is presumed to have given express consent to be recorded. ALL MATERIAL ON THESE PAGES IS COPYRIGHT 1996-2011 SUZANNE SHELL reproduction without written permission is prohibited.

If you copy, you are entering into a contract

IF YOU COPY OR DISTRIBUTE ANYTHING ON THIS WEB SITE, YOU ARE ENTERING INTO A CONTRACT. You agree that the act of copying, as defined in the terms, whether you prepay any fees or not, constitutes your express intent to enter into a contract with the copyright owner as defined in COPYRIGHT NOTICE & TERMS (READ BEFORE ACCESSING THIS WEB SITE) - Copyright 1996- 2011, Suzanne Shell and individual contributors where appropriate. The content if this web site is intended to generate income, it is not free if you intend to archive, copy, print, distribute or create a derivative work of anything electronically fixed herein. Simply put, read, browse, learn freely. Copy, print, save, or distribute - get permission first or pay.

Reproduction and distribution prohibited without permission. This web site is licensed to be viewed on a computer device only while connected on the Internet connected to this web site. This license expressly does not include off-line viewing of content. Permission and limited, non-exclusive license to reproduce this web site, by any method including but not limited to magnetically, digitally, electronically or hard copy, may be purchased for $5,000 (five thousand dollars) per printed hard copy page per copy, in advance of printing. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, check, money order or cash. WE DO NOT ACCEPT GOVERNMENT PO’S - this fee schedule applies to the general public and particularly to any state agency, employee, contractor, GAL, attorney or CPS service provider or any person listed on the Consumer Advisory.  CPS agencies and associates and our competitors have found this site to be extremely valuable, preferring the contents of this site to any other site. Hence, the premium price. Family Rights activists or advocates may obtain reduction or waiver of license fees  upon request. License and permission s expressly denied for any use in a court case or official proceeding without express written permission and prepayment of posted fees or fee waiver.

Purchases through Payloadz, Scribd, etc.

All online purchases through Payloadz (tm) or Scribd or any other resource are nonrefundable. In the case of a dispute involving a purchase, the purchaser agrees that the record of electronic delivery generated by the online document delivery service shall constitute incontrovertible proof that the item charged was delivered to an authorized user of the credit card or online payment service account. If the card owner contests the charge and the document was delivered and we are charged fees for a charge back, cardholder agrees to pay to us the amount of the purchase plus $50 or double the purchase price, whichever is greater, upon demand.

Forum selection clause

Anyone visiting this site or copying any content belonging to the copyright owner consents to jurisdiction  and venue remaining in El Paso County, Colorado, or the United States District Court, District of Colorado, at the sole discretion of the copyright owner. This web site is registered with the United States Copyright Office.
Dear Foster Child

Hi. My name is Suzanne. I was once a foster child, like you. I’ve also talked to many foster children in the past years. I know what it’s like to live in a foster home. For a lot of you, being in a foster home is a lot worse than being in your own home, isn’t it? Don’t you wish someone would listen to you when you try to tell them important things?

I’ll listen to you. You can write to me by
clicking here. Be sure to tell me your name and where you live. Tell me your parent’s names, address and phone number. Also tell me the names of the other people you are talking about in your letter.

I’m older now. I’m a mom and a grandmother. I know many of your real moms and dads because they contact me every day. They are worried about you. They love you very much. They want you to know that the people that stole you from them have been telling lies to you. The case workers and others tell lies to the judge, too. They even tell lies to your parents.

They tell the judge and your parents that you are doing fine. They say you are very happy in your foster home. They tell the judge that your mom and dad shouldn’t get you back home. That’s probably why you haven’t been able to go home yet. They tell the judge that it is bad for you if your parents visit you. Your parents probably really do want to see you, but the caseworker doesn’t want you to see your parents.

Your mom and dad don’t believe that you are doing fine. When they see you, they can tell you aren’t doing fine. They want to bring you home and make it better for you. They really want to protect you, but the caseworkers and the judge won’t let them. That’s because the judge believes the caseworker’s lies.

Did you know that you have a person who is supposed to tell the judge what you want him or her to say? This person is called a Guardian ad litem. You can refer to him or her as a G-A-L. It looks like this: GAL.

Your GAL is supposed to trying to help you get back home and make sure your home safe. He is supposed meet with you to make sure you are safe in your foster home. This meeting should happen at least once a month. Your GAL should talk to you when nobody else is around, so that if you need to say something about what is going on in the foster home, nobody else can hear it and you can be safe.

You should tell your GAL if you are being abused in the foster home. Your GAL should not let you go back to that foster home if you are being hurt or abused there. If your GAL doesn’t meet with you, or doesn’t protect you, or tells lies, you can ask the judge to fire him or her. You can do this by sending a letter to the judge. You can ask to appear at the next court hearing and tell the judge you want your GAL fired. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIRE YOUR GAL! Tell everybody when you decide you want your GAL fired. Tell your teacher and your counselor. Even tell your foster parents. They have to help you tell the judge.

You also have the right to hire your own attorney and make the court pay for it. You do this by asking an attorney to represent you and he will take care of the rest for you. This is different than the GAL. . .this attorney will represent YOUR WISHES.

Maybe you are being abused in your foster home. If you are abused, you should tell everyone about it. Tell it as many times as needed until you are safe. Tell your teacher at school. Tell your counselor. Tell your GAL. Tell your caseworker. Tell the police. Most important, TELL YOUR PARENTS. You can even tell me.

What is not allowed in foster homes?
• Your foster parents or other kids are never allowed to hit you. Sometimes foster parents allow the other kids to hit you because they can’t hit you themselves. They must NEVER allow the other children to hit you or hurt you.

• They are NOT allowed make you eat at different times or different places or eat different food or smaller amounts than the rest of the family. They are not allowed to withhold food from you at all. You cannot be punished by not being allowed to eat a meal.

• They are not allowed to make you sleep in a place that has not been approved by the agency. Sometimes caseworkers or GALs are really dumb - like when foster parents will show the caseworker or GAL the pretty bedroom but they really make you sleep on the
basement floor.

• They are NOT allowed to talk bad about your parents or anybody in your family.

• They are NOT allowed to say things to you or about you that make you feel bad about yourself. They are not allowed to call you names or say bad things to you. This is called emotional abuse.

• They are not allowed to try to make you lie about anything that went on in your family home or about anything that goes on in the foster home.

• They are NOT allowed to let other foster kids baby sit for you.

• They are NOT allowed to take your things away from you or give them to the other kids. You get to keep your toys and clothes and nobody should ever steal them from you. This includes your pictures of your mom and dad and letters from them.

• They are NOT allowed to lock you up in a room or a closet.

• They are NOT allowed to tie you up with anything. Not rope, or tape or anything.

• They are NOT allowed to chain you or put you in a cage.

• They are NOT allowed to gag you in any way. They cannot tape or tie your mouth shut.

• They are NOT allowed to make you spend all your time in a room or on a chair. They cannot isolate you in any way.

• They are not allowed to torture you by doing things that scare you, or making you do things that scare you.

• They are not allowed to take your money. Not even to pay for damage you cause. They have insurance to cover that.

• They are not allowed to snoop in your mail.

• They are not allowed to touch you in the wrong way. Maybe one of the adults or children touches you in the wrong places, or makes you touch them in the wrong places. If that happens, you should call 911 and tell the police. They will take you away from that foster home. If anyone touches you in the wrong places or makes you touch them in the wrong places, never keep it a secret. You can call 911 from any pay phone without needing money.

I’m sure your parents are trying very hard to bring you back home. Don’t forget how much they love you. You know in your heart whether or not the things the foster parents and others are telling you is true or not. Trust your heart. The others might be lying to you just to make it easier to keep you from ever going home.

If you do want to go home, be sure to tell everyone all the time. Tell your therapist, your teachers, your lawyer, everyone. If you don’t, they’ll tell the judge you don’t want to go home. Tell them you were safe at home over and over again and demand to go home. Demand more visits with your parents. Demand your GAL to tell the judge what you want. You DO have rights, it’s just that nobody wants you to know that.

Your mom and dad are probably working real hard for their rights to bring you home. You have to help them by working hard for your rights, too.

One of the most important ways to do this is not to let the caseworker or foster care giver or therapist trick you into telling lies about what went on in your home. If they can trick you, they will use it to make sure you never get to go home to your parents again. Sometimes they will trick you by saying if you just tell them daddy touched you, then you can go home. But this is a lie. If you say daddy touched you, daddy will go to jail and you'll never see him or mommy again. You can be sure that the only reason they want you to tell them anything is to get you to say things that will help them make sure you never see your parents again.

Another trick they like to use is to promise you something really neat in exchange for telling that you were abused at home. They have been known to promise ice cream, or a puppy, or even trips to Disneyworld, if you say you mom and dad abused you. If they have to trick you to get you to lie, you need to be sure to tell your parents about those tricks when you see them. It is illegal for them to trick you and get you to lie. If you only remember one thing, it is that telling the truth is the most important thing.