Advokids provides the only free telephone hotline offering legal information to anyone concerned about a child in foster care in California.
Does your foster child need an advocate with a voice to speak on their behalf?
Contact Voices For Children and ask for a CASA to be appointed for them.
Voices for Children volunteers serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

CASA volunteers are everyday citizens appointed by judges to speak for children who do not always have a voice.CASAs are members of the court.

Voices for Children
2851 Meadow Lark Drive
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 569-2019
Fax: (858) 569-7151 

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

The Volunteer Lawyer Project

The Volunteer Lawyer Project
can assist you with Advocating for educational rights for children in foster care, who are dependents of the juvenile court system.  They can assist with Special Education Law as it relates to the legal rights of foster youth.  They offer various training clinics throughout San Diego County, in conjunction with HHSA, to educate foster parents and relatives of children currently in the juvenile court system.  Contact Laura Pinelli at (619) 235-5656, Ext. 123 for more information.


Thomas Nelson, Special Education Advocate & Attorney
Offers Monthly Free IEP Evaluation Days
RSVP to or by calling 858-945-6621 to reserve a one hour block from 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Every child in the public school system, that may be having difficulty in school, is entitled to have an assessment and a plan, known as an IEP,  to meet their personal educational needs.  This is especially important for children with special needs or learning disabilities.  It is the responsibility of the school district to schedule and perform an IEP, which is a team meeting that includes the caregiver.  Below you will find useful information regarding IEP's and how you can use them for your child's success.

IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
What It Is
Who It's For
Who Makes Up the IEP Team
When do IEP Meetings Take Place
Access a Flyer from The SD County Office of Education

About IEP's from the SDCOE
Learn more information regarding the San Diego County Office of Education Notice regarding children in foster care. Document
SDCOE Notice Regarding Children in Foster Care
(JCCS) Juvenile Court and Community Schools (Through the SD County Office of Education)

Program Description:
The JCCS Special Education Program is administered by the Student Services Division of the San Diego County Office of Education. The procedural safeguards of Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act of 2004 apply to students who come under the jurisdiction of he Juvenile Justice System. The program serves students with disabilities attending school while being detained in juvenile facilities, on probation, or under the jurisdiction of the Health and Human Services Agency. The JCCS Special Education Program provides identification, assessment and instruction to students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations governing special education. Services are provided year-round based on 246 school days. Students may enter and exit the program at anytime during the year. Due to the nature of these programs, the daily pupil count varies depending on the number of court ordered placements.

The JCCS Special Education Services:
The JCCS Special Education Department offers a full continuum of program options for students with disabilities. Special Education services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assessment
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP) Review and Development
  • Behavioral Analysis & Intervention
  • Resource Specialist Program (RSP)
  • Special Day Class (SDC)
  • Designated Instruction and Services (DIS)
  • Related Services

For More Information regarding the Juvenile Court and Community Schools program VISIT THIS LINK

AB490 Imposes duties and rights relating to the education of kids in foster care

Foster Care Education Task Force AB490
Frequently Asked Questions relating to the promotion, retention and grading of students with disabilities Document
Promotion,Retention & Grading for Special Needs Children

Learning Disabilties Association of San Diegois part of a national organization of parents, adults with learning disabilities, and professionals.  LDA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families, alleviating the restricting effects of learning disabilities, and supporting endeavors to determine the causes of learning disabilities. LDA seeks to accomplish this through advocacy, education, research, service and through collaborative efforts.  They provide local workshops and support groups for those with learning disabilities, including workshops on IEP Goals.  Visit their website at or call them at (858) 467-9158.  Some of their workshops are posted on our Training Page.

"No Child Left Behind"

We have the promise of the "No Child Left Behind" act, which was signed by the President in 2002.  You are the child's advocate and can seek out services to make their school experience successful.


"Teen Choices Program"
San Diego Youth & Community Services
A health, legal and educational advocacy program for youth (ages 9-13) "on the brink of success"
For More Information, Visit Their Web Page Here

Protection & Advocacy Inc. (PAI)

Protection and Advocacy,Inc. (PAI) is a nonprofit agency that works with people with disabilities - to protect, advocate for and advance their human and legal-rights.  PAI strives to create a barrier free, inclusive society that values diversity and each individual.  PAI began protecting the rights of Californians with disabilities in 1978. 

The Office of Clients' Rights Advocacy (OCRA) is a statewide office run by Protection & Advocacy, Inc., through a contract with the California Department of Developmental Services.  OCRA employs a Clients' Rights Advocate at each regional center.  The Clients' Rights Advocate is a person trained to help protect the rights of people with developmental disabilities.   For more information visit their website here.
Child Abuse Hotline:  1-800-433-6000

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