Florida’s foster children deserve legal representation

The Constitution Revision Commission should place Proposal 40 on the ballot to make Florida the national model for protecting foster children by giving them both a lawyer and a volunteer Guardian ad Litem.

Op-Ed (Florida)

Christina Spudeas
Tallahassee Democrat
February 1, 2018

Tags: Children & Juvenile, Civil Right to Counsel, Foster Youth

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services of North Florida (LSNF), Florida’s Children First


This year nearly 30,000 children will live away from their parents because our child welfare system brought them into state care.

These children linger in care for an average of almost three years; many experience mental health problems, bounce from place to place, fall behind in school and are separated from their siblings.

These children rely on dependency court proceedings to determine where they will live, who will take care of them, where they will go to school, and how often they can see siblings and other family members. Virtually every aspect of their lives is impacted by decisions made in a courtroom where they are the only party without their own lawyer.