Know Your Rights

As a young person, you have rights too! It doesn’t matter if you are under 18 or have been in jail or foster care, or if you are pregnant or homeless. This is the place to learn more about your rights and what to do to access and protect them!
I have the right to:

  • Talk to the judge when I go to court
  • Receive a copy of my court report or case plan
  • Keep my court records private, unless the law does not permit me to
  • Be informed about changes in my case or case plan by my case manager, social worker, probation officer, or attorney
  • Identity and other important documents
I have the right to:

  • Remain in my “school of origin” even if I move to a new foster placement
  • Be enrolled immediately when I change schools. This is true even if you don’t have your immunization records or school transcripts or did not “check out” of your last school
  • Be enrolled in the same or similar classes I was enrolled in at my last school. My new school counselor must request all records from my old school and calculate all my credits, including any partial credits.
  • Do the same extracurricular activities and school sports as
    other students
  • NOT pay the application fee when applying to community college
  • Receive up to $5,000 per year through the Chafee scholarship as well as the maximum amount of federal student aid
  • Receive special support from your school district and county. Every school district is required to have a “foster youth educational liaison”
I have the right to:

  • Medicaid until age 26 in California if I am a foster youth
  • Access to Covered California (potential financial support for health insurance)
  • Be seen by a doctor, dentist, optometrist, case manager, or mental health provider
  • A transitional plan when I am working with a case manager
I have the right to:

  • Feel safe, supported, trusted, comfortable, heard, equal in my relationship
  • Say no when I don’t want to have sex
  • My own opinions, to express them, and to be taken seriously
  • Change my mind
  • Make mistakes
  • Decide the pace of my relationships
  • Process my emotions how I need to
  • Choose how, when, and where to deal with conflict
  • Challenge gender roles and stereotypes
  • Respect my body and have my body respected
  • Be free from violence, coercion and manipulation
  • Access mental health services safely and confidentially
  • Access addiction treatment services safely and confidentially
  • Express myself through the way I dress and decorate my body
  • Block anyone on social media that is bothering or harassing me
  • Refuse sex, even if I am married
  • End a relationship when and how I want
  • Choose my friends and see them without my partner controlling my social life
  • Keep my phone private; I do not have to let me partner see who is texting me or what websites I am using
  • Abstain from substance use; my partner can not pressure me to use
  • An EPO (Emergency Protective Order) if my partner is abusing me
  • Have my cultural identity and values respected
  • Consent and ask for consent
  • Be safe
  • Practice or not practice a faith
I have the right to:

  • Earn and control my own money
  • Be taken seriously in interviews and at my job regardless of age, gender, sexuality, mental health, appearance, and ability
  • Explore and choose my own path and future
  • Control my own finances
  • Change my mind about my future job and education goals
  • Manage my goals and be on my own schedule to achieve my goals
  • Ask for and receive help
  • Gain experience and make mistakes in the process
  • Negotiate my salary and/or hourly wages
  • Report sexual harassment in the workplace without losing my job
I have the right to:

  • Be out about your identity and to be yourself at school
  • Keep my LGBTQ identity private from students and staff
  • Express myself and speak out about LGBTQ issues; this includes wearing LGBTQ-positive t-shirts, stickers and bracelets, accessing information about LGBTQ issues on school computers, and bringing same-sex dates to prom
  • Start a GSA (gay straight alliance club) at your school
  • Be treated equally and to be free from bullying, harassment and discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression
  • Unbiased and LGBTQ inclusive history education and sexual health education
  • Assert your gender identity at school
  • Be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond with your gender identity
  • Wear clothing that expresses your gender identity
  • Participate in sports and PE classes that match your gender identity
  • Use restrooms and locker rooms that align with your gender identity
  • Every single right listed in the sexual health rights section
I have the right to:

  • Remain silent
  • Ask if you’re free to leave
  • Refuse a search of my body and my belongings
  • Refuse a search of your car; only if your car does not have evidence of a crime
  • Refuse to answer questions about where you were born, what your citizenship is, or how you entered this country
  • Refuse to let Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents into your home unless they have a warrant
  • Ask ICE agents to show you the warrant
  • A government appointed lawyer if you cannot afford one
  • Refuse to say or sign anything without a lawyer
  • Make a local phone call when you are arrested
  • Contact your consulate or have an officer contact the consulate to inform them of your arrest
  • Take pictures of on-duty police in public areas at your school as long as you don’t interfere with what they’re doing. In some states you can also record them
  • Refuse to let police look at your cell phone and if you do refuse, police have to get a warrant before they can
  • Keep what’s on your phone private
I have the right to:

  • Choose how I identify myself regarding my own gender and sexuality
  • Choose who and how many people I want to be with
  • Have my pronouns of choice respected
  • Choose how I show love and not be judged for it
  • Choose when and if I am ready for pregnancy
  • Select the best contraceptive method for me
  • Know my partner’s status and have an open honest conversation about this
  • Choose how and what I do with my body
  • Receive accurate information about all your sexual and reproductive health care options
  • Decide what to do if I get pregnant
  • Get free or low-cost care if I can’t afford to pay for it in the state of California (Family PACT)
  • Remain in my school of choice as a pregnant or parenting teen, if I choose to remain in school
  • Keep my pregnancy private
  • Keep the decisions I make about my body private
  • Remain employed while pregnant, if I choose to remain employed
  • A confidential abortion
  • Not have my birth control tampered with (ex: partner removing condom mid-intercourse)
  • Control my own body and sexuality without any form of discrimination, intimidation, coercion, or violence
  • Report sexual assault or domestic violence without fearing deportation
  • Use the bathroom I feel best represents my self-identified gender identity in California