Concept of Normalcy

Telephone Access

Welfare and Institutions Code 16001.9(a)(9) states that all children in foster care have the right to receive and make confidential telephone calls unless prohibited by court order. The Caregiver, county social worker, or probation officer may impose reasonable restrictions.

Examples of reasonable restrictions may include not allowing social calls after bedtime or until homework has been completed, or limiting social calls to ensure that telephone use does not infringe upon the rights of others. An example of an unreasonable restriction would be to limit telephone calls to a child’s siblings without a court order or to a child’s social worker or probation officer, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), or foster youth advocates and supporters.

Foster care providers can only restrict phone calls if they believe a child’s health and safety is at risk from making the phone call.