Legal Rights of Teens

 

Teens: visit SpeakUpTeens.org for more info

 

Are you having trouble getting the help you need?  Do you need answers to some legal questions?

Scroll down this page to find answers about your legal rights.

Remember – the answers in the materials below reflect the law in Connecticut but are very general.
If you need help, please contact Attorney Stacey Violante Cote  or  Attorney Edwin Colon  at the Center for Children’s Advocacy Teen Legal Clinic.

 

Legal Rights of Teens

 

Benefits (Money, Food, Medical)

Child Support Information for Teen Mothers
How do I establish paternity? Why should I file for child support?

Child Support Information for Teen Fathers
How do I establish paternity? Can I have visitation rights?

TFA – Cash Assistance for Teen Parents
Can I get cash assistance to help me take care of my child?

Connecticut Department of Social Services (website)
To apply for help with $, food or medical

Social Security Administration (website)
To apply for $ if you are disabled or your parent passed away

How to Keep your Lights and Heat Turned On

 

Bullying

Bullying
If I am bullied at school, what are my legal rights?

Stop Bullying (website)

Teens Against Bullying (website)

Connecticut Department of Education, Bullying and Harassment (website)

 

DCF Care

Your Legal Rights in DCF Care
Have you been moving around a lot? Do you want to stay in the same school?

Speak Up! Your Legal Rights in Foster Care
Legal Rights Question and Answer book

Speak Up! Your Legal Rights in Shelters, STAR Homes, Groups Homes, or Residentials
Legal Rights Question and Answer book

DCF Adolescent Policies
To find DCF’s programs and rules for teens

DCF to DMHAS – What Happens When I Turn 18?
Aging out of DCF Care – What does it mean if I “Go with DMHAS” ?

If DCF is Your Legal Guardian
Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut (LARCC)

Youth Who “Age Out” of Foster Care Eligible for HUSKY Health Coverage Until Age 21
Connecticut Voices for Children

DCF Adolescent and Transitional Services  (website)

Foster Care Alumni  (website)

National Network for Young People in Foster Care  (website)

 

Dating Violence

Is Love Supposed to Hurt Me? (brochure)  (poster)
Is your boyfriend/girlfriend hurting you, screaming at you, stalking you or sending threatening messages?

Break the Cycle (English or Spanish) (website)

Center for Adolescent Health and the Law (website)

Heathersvoice.net (English or Spanish)  (website)
Teen dating violence – where to call for help

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

 

Delinquency and Detention

Can I Get My Record Erased?
Police Records, Court Records, School Discipline Records

Connecticut Juvenile Justice System
A Guide for Youth and Families

Legal Rights in Juvenile Detention (English or Spanish)
What are your rights in Juvenile Detention?

 

Emancipation

How Can I Get Emancipated?
What are my rights and responsibilities if I get emancipated?

How to Get your Birth Certificate
The law can help you

A Teenager’s Guide to Emancipation
Legal Resource Center of Connecticut (LARCC)

 

Health Care and Mental Health Care

HUSKY Health Care
Information about State health insurance

Is it Confidential? (English)  (Spanish)
Can you see a doctor without your parent’s or guardian’s consent?
Information on Reproductive Health Care, including HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, abortion, safe havens for newborns.

Statutory Rape – Definitions and the Law
If your boyfriend or girlfriend is 3 years older than you, can you get in trouble with the law?

Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care are Eligible for HUSKY Health Coverage until Age 21
Healthcare Benefits – Connecticut Voices for Children

Center for Adolescent Health and the Law (website)

Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition (website)

 

Homeless?

Have you been Forced Out?
Couch surfing? No stable place to live? Check out your legal rights.

How to Get your Birth Certificate
The law can help you

I’ve Been Moving Around A Lot
What are my rights? Do I have to change schools every time I move?

 

Immigration

Immigration – What are my rights? What are my options?
Can I go to school? Can I become a legal permanent resident of the US?

Living in Connecticut: Immigrants and Refugee Teens (English, Spanish, Karen)
Information about school, work, ID cards for immigrant and refugee teens.

“Deferred Action” for Youth brought to the U.S. as Children (ctlawhelp.org)

Supporting Undocumented & Unaccompanied Youth In School (NAEHCY Report)

How to Renew/Replace Permanent Resident Card  (English)   (Spanish)

International Institute of Connecticut (website)

Scholarships for College (Scholarships A-Z)
Scholarships available regardless of immigration status

American Civil Liberties Union – Immigrants’ Rights  (website)

Immigrant Legal Resource Center  (website)

National Immigration Law Center  (website)

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild  (website)

 

LGBT Teens

LGBT Teens – What are my rights? 
Are you being bullied or feel like you’re discriminated against? Your legal rights in school, foster care, detention and home.

Connecticut Legal Protections for Transgender People
CWEALF publication

A Place of Respect
A Guide for Group Care Facilities Serving Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Youth

Connecticut Chapter of GLSEN
(Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)

Connecticut GLAD Resources
(Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders website)

Forced Out?
Couch surfing? No stable place to live? Check out  your legal rights.

Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective  (website)

New Haven Pride Center  (website)

The Trevor Project (website)
Crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth

True Colors  (website)

True Colors Resource Guide

 

Pregnant and Parenting Teens

Access to Tutoring for Pregnant/Parenting Students

Child Support and Teen Fathers
How do I establish paternity? Can I have visitation rights?

Child Support and Teen Mothers
How do I establish paternity? Why should I file for child support?

TFA Cash Assistance for Teen Parents
Can I get cash assistance to help me take care of my child?

Educational Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Teens

Safe Havens for Newborns
CT Department of Children & Families

Teenager’s Guide to Child Support
Legal Assistance Resource Center of CT

Center for Adolescent Health and the Law (website)

 

Runaway and Homeless Youth

Have you been Forced Out?
Couch surfing? No stable place to live? Check out your legal rights.

How to Get your Birth Certificate
 The law can help you

I’ve Been Moving Around A Lot
What are my rights? Do I have to change schools every time I move?

Access to College for Runaway and Homeless Youth (NAEHCY website)

Programs Serving Runaway & Homeless Youth

Directory of Connecticut Liaisons to Homeless Students 

Connecticut Runaway and Homeless Youth Team (Contact list)

Legal Rights of Connecticut Runaway and Homeless Youth

National Network 4 Youth (website)

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children & Youth (website)

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (website)

Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (website)

True Colors (website)

True Colors Resource Guide

 

School

Bullying
How do you define “bullying” ?  If I’m being bullied at school, what are my rights?

Detention – Life after Manson
Getting back into school – for youth ages 14-17
Getting back into school – for youth ages 18+

Push Out
If my school wants me out, what can I do?

State Department of Education Link to Information for ELL Students

Financial Aid for College If You Are Not Living with Your Parents
How do I apply for financial aid if my parents won’t help me?

Scholarships for College (Scholarships A-Z)

Scholarships for Students in Greater Hartford

Searches in School
Can I be searched in school? What are my legal rights?

Special Education
Can I get special education services to help me learn?

Truancy
What will happen if I miss a lot of school? What does the law say?

Life After Lockup: What’s Up With School? 
Your legal rights when you return to school and the community.

Educational Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Teens
If I have a child, can I still go to school? Can I get help?

Rules, Rights and Regulations in School 
Legal Resource Assistance Center of Connecticut (LARCC)  (website)

School Expulsions
Legal Resource Assistance Center of Connecticut (LARCC)  (website)

Starting College: Tips for Special Education and Disabled Students

 

Information above is intended as a reference only and should not be interpreted as legal advice in an individual case.

Do you need more information about your own situation?

Contact:

Attorney Stacey Violante Cote
860-570-5327
sviolant@kidscounsel.org

Attorney Edwin Colon
203-335-0719
 ecolon@kidscounsel.org 

Teens: visit SpeakUpTeens.org for more info.