Children's Rights

To empower low-income children and to meet their wide range of needs in civil matters, the project's multidisciplinary staff provides free legal and other advocacy services. Read More

Contact Information

To inquire about eligibility for legal services, please call:

  • 213-385-2977, x 500 

Calls are received on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays only. 

Please note that the Children's Rights Project does NOT assist with family law matters including child support, visitation and custody between parents.

Learn more about guardianship

Thousands of children in California live with caregivers who are not their parents. Most often, those caregivers are the child’s relatives, friends or neighbors. Visit www.publiccounsel.org/guardianship to learn more about how we help.

  • Children's Rights Project Booklet
  • Redefining Dignity in Our Schools A Shadow Report on School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Implementation in South Los Angeles, 2007-2010.
  • Caring for Another Person's Child - Manual A Guide for Non-Parent Caregivers in Los Angeles County
  • Caregivers' Guide to Mental Health Services for Foster and Adopted Children Children in foster care have all experienced trauma, including abuse or neglect, which may have lasting effects on their mental health. “Mental health” includes a person’s moods, emotions, patterns of thinking and behavior. It affects a child’s growth and development, and the child’s ability to succeed in school and to have healthy connections with family and friends. Children in foster care generally have greater mental health needs than children who have not been in foster care.
  • Nominating a Guardian for Your Child This brochure deals with how to nominate guardians of the person, only. If you have any assets (such as a house, savings or retirement account, or life insurance policy) that you would like to be used for the benefit of a child, during your lifetime or after your death, you should consult an attorney to assist you in drafting estate planning documents. Advance planning can guarantee that your assets are used in the way you wish them to be used and can avoid expensive probate court proceedings.
  • Regional Center Basics Regional centers are non-profit corporations that contract with the State Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to provide services for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Regional Center Basics - Spanish Los centros regionales son corporaciones no lucrativas que tienen contratos con el Departamento de Servicios de Desarrollo (DDS) del Estado para proporcionar servicios a las personas con discapacidades del desarrollo.
  • Information for Adoptive Parents After your adoption is finalized, the Juvenile Dependency case (the case that was first opened when the child entered the system) is technically still open. It might take about 2-4 weeks for Dependency Court jurisdiction to be terminated. Following the adoption your attorney will send a copy of the Adoption Order to your Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) social worker. The social worker prepares a request for the court to terminate jurisdiction and then the file makes its way to the Judge so that jurisdiction will be terminated (the Dependency case will be closed).
  • Informacion Para Padres Adoptivos Despues de que se finalice la adopcion, el caso de dependencia juvenil (el caso que se abrio originalmente cuando el menor entro al sistema) todavia esta tecnicamente abierto. Puede tomar alrededor de 2-4 semanas para terminar la jurisdiccion de la corte de dependencia. Despues de la adopcion, su abogado enviara una copia de la Orden de Adopcion (Adoption Order) a su trabajador social del Departamento de Servicios Para Ninos y Familias. El trabajador social preparara una solicitud para que la corte termine la jurisdiccion (despues el caso de dependencia sera cerrado).
  • Adoption Project White Paper The history of the Adoption Project in Los Angeles County
  • The Adoption Tax Credit [2005 - 2009] If you adopted a child between January 1, 2005 - December 31, 2009, you may benefit from a 2010 change in tax law.
  • The Adoption Tax Credit [2010] If you adopted a child in 2010, you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit of up to $13,170.
  • The Adoption Tax Credit [2011] If you adopted a child in 2011 you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit of up to $13,360.
  • The Adoption Tax Credit [2012] If you adopted a child in 2012, you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit of up to $12,650 for each child you adopted. The tax credit can be used to reduce the amount you owe in federal income taxes.
  • The Adoption Tax Credit [2013] If you adopted a child in 2013, you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit of up to $12,970 for each child you adopted. The tax credit can be used to reduce the amount you owe in federal income taxes.
  • The Adoption Tax Credit [2014] If you adopted a child in 2014, you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit of up to $13,190 for each child you adopted. The tax credit can be used to reduce the amount you owe in federal income taxes.
  • El Credito Fiscal de Adopcion de [2014] Si usted adopto a un nino en el 2014, usted podria ser elegible para un credito fiscal de adopcion de hasta $13,190 por cada nino que adopto. El credito de impuesto se puede utilizar para reducir la cantidad que debe en impuestos federales.
  • The Adoption Tax Credit [2015] If you adopted a child in 2015, you may be eligible for an adoption tax credit of up to $13,400 for each child you adopted. The tax credit can be used to reduce the amount you owe in federal income taxes.
  • El Credito Fiscal de Adopcion de [2015] Si usted adopto a un nino en el 2015, usted podra ser elegible para un credito fiscal de adopcion de hasta $13,400 por cada nino que adopto. El credito de impuesto se puede utilizer para reducer la cantidad que debe en impuestos federales.
  • School Discipline School discipline should both serve a purpose and remain consistent with the child's right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
  • Disciplina Escolar
  • Education: California School Rights and Responsibilities with a focus on Los Angeles Unified School District
  • California Foster Youth Education Law Factsheets Fact Sheets published by the California Foster Youth Education Task Force
  • Special Education This brochure covers issues relating to special education and related services, including students' and parents' rights and responsibilities
  • Educacion Especial Derechos y Responsabilidades de Estudiantes y Padres
  • School Discipline - Attorney Manual
  • Guardianship of the Person and the Pro Per Guardianship Clinic This pamphlet is designed for parents and caregivers who have questions about guardianship. It describes the guardianship process and how to access help through Public Counsel's Pro Per Guardianship Clinic.
  • Tutela De la Persona y La Clinica de Tutela Este folleto está diseñado para padres y cuidadores que tengan preguntas sobre la tutela. En él se describe el proceso de tutela y cómo acceder a la ayuda a través de la Clínica de Tutela de Public Counsel.
  • Guardianship of the Person-Attorney Manual This manual is written for attorneys handling guardianship cases pro bono through Public Counsel, and is designed to give a step-by-step overview of the guardianship process.
  • Peace of Mind Program-Joint Guardianship of the Person The Peace of Mind Program provides parents who live with a life-threatening illness with the Peace of Mind that their children will be cared for.
  • Tranquilidad de Conciencia
  • Immigration: What Teens Need to Know
  • Inmigracion lo que Jovenes Deberian saber
  • Understanding the Juvenile Delinquency System This pamphlet was written especially for young people in the juvenile delinquency system.
  • Entendiendo/ Conociendo-El sistema Este folleto fue escrito para jovenes involucrados con el sistema de justicia juvenil
  • Sealing your Juvenile Records This pamphlet explains what it means to seal juvenile records, who qualifies to have their juvenile records sealed, and how to go about doing it.
  • Sellando Tu Expediente Juvenil Este folleto explica lo que quiere decir "Sellar el Expediente Juvenil," quien tiene derecho a sellar su expediente juvenil, y como hacerlo.
  • A Guide for Teens to Welfare and Health Care Programs
  • ABC's of Transition and the Independent Living Program Informational Manual for Transitioning Foster Youth and Their Caregivers
  • California Nonresident Tuition Exemption This form includes the procedures for eligible California high school graduates to request exemption from nonresident tuition rates at public colleges and universities in California
  • Health Care and Teens What Teens Should Know About Medical and Dental Care
  • Get the Truth about Teen Dating and Violence & Domestic Violence
  • Is My Baby Safe? Straight Talk to Teen Parents On Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Legal Issues For Teen Families Information for teen parents about obtaining a baby's birth certificate; paternity; child custody and visitation; and marriage
  • Pregnant? A Teen Parent? Protect your Future -- Stay In School! As a pregnant or parenting student, you have the same right as any other student to continue your education. If you are under 18, you are legally required to attend school.
  • Sex? Choices for Teens
  • So You Want to Become Emancipated? Emancipation is a way you legally separate from your parents or guardian, before you turn 18 years old. Some people call this a "divorce" between you and your parents or guardian, and like a divorce, emancipation may improve or strain the personal relationship you have with your parents, guardian or other family.
  • Statutory Rape: What You Should Know
  • Teens in Foster Care and Their Babies
  • IPP and IFSP Advocacy Manual This manual is intended to help anyone interested in advocating for regional center consumers to ensure they receive the services they need. This includes attorneys, social workers, volunteers, caregivers, parents, and Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).
  • AB 1933 This document contains a list of frequently asked questions and answers related to AB 1933, the bill that amended Section 48853.5 of the California Education Code, thereby allowing a foster child to remain in his/her school of origin for as long as the child is in foster care. It contains definitions of relevant terms and discusses practical implications of the bill.
  • A Model Code on Education and Dignity All children and youth have a human right to quality public education in safe and supportive environments, providing a foundation for access to higher education, meaningful employment and full participation in society. Although a commitment to public education is a principle deeply rooted in U.S. history and society, our current educational policies and practices fail to reflect that commitment and result in millions of young people being pushed out of school every year.
  • Q&A on California Rules of Court and Forms for Youth Education The California Rules of Court and Judicial Council forms relating to youth education changed in 2013, Read questions and answers on the new California rules of court and forms.
  • The Education Imperative - Presentation on Juvenile Justice Involvement (2014) Presentation to the Board of State and Community Corrections by Statewide Education Rights Director Laura Faer in May 2014.
  • Pro Per Guardianship Clinic Public Counsel's Skadden Arps Pro Per Guardianship Clinic assists with legal guardianship petitions for adults caring for children whose parents cannot or will not properly care for them. The clinic also assists with petitions for visitation and termination of guardianship.