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Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division

Family Laws, Legal Protections and Services

Family Rights and Protections Laws

California law protects and supports the health of kids, individuals and families. If you are planning a family, are already pregnant, are a brand new parent, or are a young person seeking confidential health care services, you can learn more about your rights by checking out the links below. 

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Child and adolescent health
Children and youth with special health care needs

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows eligible children with disabilities to access free, appropriate public education, including special education and related services.

IDEA Part C provides early intervention services for children with disabilities from birth through age two, such as assessments, screenings, a variety of therapies, family counseling and more.

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities (including children) from discrimination at work, schools and in other settings.

California's Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act says people with developmental disabilities (and their families) have a right to get the services and support they need to live like people who do not have disabilities.

Family planning

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (PACT) program provides comprehensive family planning health services to eligible low-income California residents.

Financial assistance

For families who may need additional financial assistance, the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is a refundable, cash back credit for qualified low-to-moderate income working Californians.

The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps low-to-moderate income workers and families get a tax break. Those who qualify can use the credit to reduce taxes owed or possibly increase a refund.

Immigration process

Immigration law is complex. The California Courts have a website dedicated to outlining the resources available for those navigating the immigration process.

Lactation accommodation (the ability to express milk at work)

New parents are entitled to accommodations that allow them to continue nursing/lactating even after returning to work. California law requires all employers to provide nursing/lactating employees with breaks throughout the day, as well as private, comfortable and clean places to express/pump breast milk.

There are also rights for nursing/lactating students who are going back to school.

Parental and family leave

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) offers information and resources about Paid Family Leave (PFL). PFL helps individuals who need to take time away from work to care for ill family, bond with a new child, or attend to a family member being deployed by the military.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing offers information about the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). CFRA helps individuals who might need unpaid, job-protected leave. Similar benefits and job protections are also available through the federal government's Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

California's EDD offers State Disability Insurance to help individuals if they are unable to work due to non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy or childbirth.

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