Table of Contents
Disability Rights Texas Handout
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DRTx Foster Care Program
The Disability Rights Texas Foster Care Program provides legal representation through court appointments to children with disabilities in foster care.
Purpose of the Program
- Children in foster care are more likely than their peers to not finish high school, to be incarcerated, and to experience homelessness.
- The goal for children in foster care is permanency through reunification with their family or adoption. However, Texas children with a disability in foster care are half as likely to experience one of those outcomes.
- Children in foster care who do not achieve permanent placement and who “age out” of the system at age 18 often end up institutionalized or incarcerated.
By representing the legal needs of this unique youth population, Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) hopes to continue to change the course of the lives of thousands of foster care children in Texas. Because of our innovative approach, we have witnessed children’s lives transform in tangible ways. Caseworkers, lawyers, and judges from around Texas request our involvement in cases due to our innovative approaches and expertise.
How it Works
Courts appoint DRTx to represent foster children and help them navigate the systems with which they are involved. Services provided include:
- Educational advocacy
- Special education
- Section 504 accommodations
- School-based ticketing
- Cross-system advocacy
- Juvenile justice
- Mental health treatment
- Reasonable accommodations
- Hearing, vision, speech
- Behavioral supports
- Representation in Medicaid fair hearings
- Transition out of foster care
- Discharge from institutional settings
- Psychotropic medication monitoring
- Trauma-informed care
- Trust-based relational intervention (TBRI)
Because our agency specializes in advocacy for people with disabilities, we understand the rights and needs of these children and develop innovative solutions.
Our ultimate goal is to help them achieve a successful placement in the community with supports and services in place to allow them to thrive.
Since the program’s inception in 2010, we’ve represented more than 300 children with disabilities in foster care across the state, helping them to receive critical services and transition successfully from institutions to the community.
We also continue to train numerous lawyers, social workers, judges and other professionals to understand and better serve the population of children with whom we work.
Last updated: October 2018
Publication Code: n/a
Disclaimer: Disability Rights Texas strives to update its materials on an annual basis, and this handout is based upon the law at the time it was written. The law changes frequently and is subject to various interpretations by different courts. Future changes in the law may make some information in this handout inaccurate.
The handout is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.