Teen and Youth Legal Rights: Advocating for Your Client

Stacey Violante Cote, MSW, JD
5 CECs
Friday, November 17, 2017
9 am – 3:30 pm

Location: Hartford Public Library (Room 026), 500 Main St

Click for seminar fees.

Advocating for the legal rights of your teen and youth clients can be challenging. The first challenge for many social service providers working with this population is gaining a clear understanding of their clients’ legal rights. In some situations the law treats them as adults – in others they are considered children. Some legal rights are given to young people at age 13, others at 16, and more at age 18, and 21. In many instances, the various systems serving teens and young people are not even aware of the rights to which this population is entitled. The second challenge is enforcing these legal rights. Once you know that a client’s rights are not being enforced, how do you advocate for him/her? How can you empower your client to use the law to better his/her life situation?

This seminar will provide the latest information and resources for agency and placement personnel, child advocates, and other human services professionals working with these young people. Participants will use case examples and discussion to examine advocacy strategies. Most of the law discussed will be Connecticut based, however, participants will also learn about select federal legal rights.

This seminar will enable you to:

  • learn about the legal rights of teens/youth in the areas of reproductive health care, education, living options, state and federal benefit programs, parenting, homelessness and, where appropriate, the legal rights of immigrant youth
  • empower your clients to make life decisions by understanding their legal rights
  • recognize when your client is being treated unjustly
  • examine ways to better advocate on behalf of your clients
  • understand how to navigate amongst the various systems involved in your clients’ lives (i.e. DCF, DSS, school systems)