Legal Aid Society

Children in Family Court & Foster Care

We represent children in New York City’s Family Court and youth in foster care. Our holistic teams of attorneys, social workers, paralegals, and investigators provide clients with direct legal representation in neglect, abuse, custody, adoption, education, juvenile delinquency and PINS matters.  Our advocacy reaches beyond the courthouse to fully support our clients’ interests and needs.

How To Get Help

If you have questions about your case or need assistance, contact your attorney or social worker or you can call the Juvenile Rights Trial Office in your borough:

Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-3100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Island: 347-422-5333

Important Things To Know

Legal Aid is compiling the most up to date information and resources for clients during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

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New help is available for youth aging out, or about to age out, of foster care.

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The Administration for Children’s Services must try to place you with your siblings unless there’s a good reason not to.

Learn More

Terms You Might Hear

The justice system can be overwhelming. Get familiar with some legal terms and acronyms you might hear like appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, deposition, and affidavit.

  • Attorney – A person admitted to practice law and authorized to perform criminal and civil legal functions on behalf of clients.
  • Family Team Conference – Family Team Conferences (FTC) bring together family members, young people, extended family, caseworkers, parent advocates, and support figures to develop plans to keep children safe, support well-being, and achieve permanency.
  • Foster Care – A system in which a child lives with and is cared for by people who are not the child's parents for a period of time.
  • Lawyer – Someone whose job is to give advice to people about the law and speak for them in court.
  • Lien – A claim on specific property for payment of a debt.
  • Medicaid – A health insurance program for low-income and individuals with disabilities. Jointly paid for by the federal and state government.
  • Minutes – Notes of what happened in the courtroom.
  • Social Security – A federal program that provides income, health insurance, and other benefits.
  • TPS – Temporary Protective Status. Offers temporary legal status to certain immigrants in the United States who cannot return to their home country due to ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary reasons.
  • Waive – To voluntarily give up a right. Examples include not enforcing the terms of a contract, or knowingly giving up a legal right such as a speedy trial.