Youth in care bill of rights
In the spring of 2008, YLAT members ratified the Maine Youth in Care Bill of Rights. One year prior, Maine youth leaders in foster care, along with adult allies, gathered at the Black Bear Inn in Orono, Maine for the 10th Annual Youth Summit. It was at this event that an idea for a Youth in Care Bill of Rights was born. The purpose of having a Maine Youth in Care Bill of Rights is to provide youth in care with a resource they can use to advocate for themselves, to make sure that their rights are being honored and upheld, and to improve the foster care system for youth in care currently, and for future foster youth.
The rights of Maine youth in care are defined in law, in policies and in statements of belief. The Maine Youth in Care Bill of Rights is a written contract between the state and youth in its care that outlines the rights and responsibilities that foster youth, caseworkers, Guardian Ad Litems, care providers and able biological parents should advocate for, and that youth should expect to receive from their caregivers while in care.