Advokids provides the only free telephone hotline offering legal information to anyone concerned about a child in foster care in California.

877.ADV4KID (877.238.4543)
Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:30pm

We are unable to provide legal information to people who are represented by a lawyer.

Children's Attorney Consultation Line:
Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:30pm

  • Child Welfare Law Information Hotline
  • Children’s Attorney Consultation Line
  • Child Welfare Legal Tools and Resources
  • Statewide Trainings and Conferences
  • Statewide Child Welfare Reform
  • Appellate and Amicus Project



California is home to 60,000 foster children, 1/3 of these foster children are under the age of 5

Many children spend 2+ years in foster care and experience multiple placements.

Permanent placements and enduring relationships protect foster children’s long-term emotional, cognitive and developmental health.

Read more about foster children.




In her TED Talk, San Francisco pediatrician Dr. Burke explains, “We now understand better than we ever have before how exposure to early adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children.” This new research is essential when advocating on behalf of foster children. The difference between toxic stress and tolerable stress is an adult caregiver to be a buffer. We need to provide for the caregiver to be that buffer.

Nadine Burke Harris, Keynote, Zero to Three National Training Institute, December 2, 2015



Daniel just turned 5 and has been in foster care for 19 months. He is in his third placement. Daniel was going to have to miss his school performance to attend his court hearing this week. His fost-adopt mom and dad were worried because Daniel was afraid to go to court and very sad about missing a big day at school. They called Advokids’ free telephone hotline for help.

Advokids’ legal telephone hotline staff explained to Daniel’s ‘s fost-adopt parents that since he is now 5, the law requires his attorney to see him before each court hearing but he is not required to go to court. We encouraged them to email Daniel’s attorney and underscore Daniel’s history of trauma, his fears, and his need for stability. Daniel’s attorney accommodated a meeting with Daniel in the privacy of her office, and Daniel performed in his school play with his classmates. It was a great day!

Read more of our children’s stories.


The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recently issued new resource guidelines for juvenile court judges. Page 76 of the guide discusses the youngest children in foster care.

"As the largest group to enter the child welfare system, very young children who become the subject of dependency court proceedings face multiple disadvantages, traumas, and losses during a critical time of early brain development."

Gatowski, S., Miller, N., Rubin, S., Escher P., & Maze, C. (2016) Enhanced resource guidelines: Improving court practice in child abuse and neglect cases, Reno, NV: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Advokids Sues the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services

Advokids has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services to enforce our state laws which require the agency to give foster caregivers written notices of court hearings and proposed changes in a foster child’s placement. If you are or have been a foster caregiver and meet the criteria, please consider joining our reform efforts as a declarant in our lawsuit. For declarant criteria and instructions, click here. We cannot reform the foster care system and effect change without you.

To read more about our lawsuit: The Voice of Foster Kids – Los Angeles Times.


Upcoming Dependency 101 trainings:

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"I would like to share our appreciation and gratitude for your helpful legal advice and unwavering patients. This is a very painful and stressful time for us. Your compassion and guidance is giving us the support and tools we need to negotiate the challenges ahead. Thankfully there are advocates like you all for the love of children and their families."

-Kate, Grandmother, San Francisco County, 2016
"Some months ago, you helped my wife Jenni and I with the case of our foster-to-adopt child. I simply wanted to thank you and to let you know that we signed adoptive placement papers this week, and we are anticipating finalizing our son's adoption in the next several weeks. We are very excited! It is a long story of how we got to this point, but suffice it to say that we took all of your advice, we were very proactive in dealing with the bureaucracy, we secured all manner of medical and Regional Center services for him, we received invaluable guidance from our FFA social worker, we actively engaged his attorney (who did what she could to help us, since we consistently acted in his best interest), and we were polite yet insistent with the DCFS social workers to press forward at every turn. Thank you again for your help and for all of your advocacy on behalf of vulnerable children like our son."
- Anthony & Jennifer, Foster Parents, Los Angeles County, 2016

Words don't even come close to describing what Advokids means to me and my family. They saved our foster child's LIFE!!! The whole staff treats each child as if it is their own. At Advokids, the child is not a number. He or she is a real person with emotions and feelings. Please donate so that they can continue to help each one of us to give our foster children a VOICE in the courtroom.

Kelli – Foster to Adopt Parent

My journey with Advokids began with one prayer, one click and one letter on their website. Advokids was heaven sent. They immediately responded, educated, empowered, and assisted me beyond belief. After seven months of excruciating heartache I am forever grateful that I was reunited with my little girl. Because of Advokids’ tireless efforts, dedication and passion to our children, foster parents and relative caretakers, my faith has been completely restored in pure human goodness!!! Thank you!

Tiana – Foster Parent

I wanted to update you a bit and thank you again for all of your calm assistance during the sometimes turbulent last 14 months. Your guidance and compassion during this process was more than appreciated. It wasn't until we contacted you that we felt someone actually cared. You actually took the time to listen and talk us off all of the "ledges" this process presents. Your quick responses provided us comfort and reassurance, and we cannot thank you enough for being there for us.

Kristin – Foster to Adopt Parent

As an agency social worker I am always looking for support from those educated about the law and dedicated to helping foster youth. I have reached out to Advokids on a variety of occasions asking for help and information on law. They have never failed me. Furthermore, I usually receive an email or a phone call in under an hour's time.
I encourage my foster parents to contact Advokids when in need and have several families who call them almost daily. Their kindness never wavers and their advice is priceless.

Danielle - Social Worker, Modesto, CA