Youth Leadership Advisory Team (YLAT)

YLAT is a joint project between Maine’s Youth in Foster Care, The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and the Muskie School at University of Southern Maine. YLAT is committed to improving the short-term and long-term outcomes for youth who are or have been in foster care.

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YLAT, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, PO Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300, phone: 207-780-5861

Rights & Resources

Young people in foster care face many life challenges. This means it is very important for youth to know what resources are available to them while they are preparing to enter into adulthood.

It is especially important for youth to know their rights, when they need to advocate for themselves or for others. Youth have the right to ask for help if their needs are not being met or if they have concerns about an issue.

Child Welfare Ombudsman Program
Call: (866) 621-0758 OR (207) 623-1868


An Ombudsman (pronounced: om-budz-man) helps people when they have concerns about DHHS involvement in families’ lives. Anyone who has a concern has the right to call the Ombudsman and tell him/her about it. If you make a complaint, you can ask that your name be kept private. The Ombudsman will check out complains and see if he/she can help get more information, notify DHHS of problems, work with people to find out what is wrong and try to fix the problem at no cost to you!

"It is important for youth to stand up for their rights because without those rights it’s as if we (youth) have no control of ourselves."