dweebaked (dweebaked) wrote in little_details,
dweebaked
dweebaked
little_details

Foster care, laws and schools in San Diego in the 90s

Setting: San Diego County, May 1991 - May 1992

Background: 15-year-old protagonist in foster care. His hot-headedness, abandonment and anger issues had him tossed around from foster home to foster home, including several abusive ones, before eventually being dropped in one of the worst group homes where children come and go as they please. One day, he gets bullied at school and retaliates by throwing a table at said bully. He is arrested and tried, and then put into lockup for a year. His social worker pays a visit, and reveals to him the location where he was found abandoned as a child. He is then released after a year, where a friend of his takes him on to investigate further on his roots.


  1. Main character is a 15-year old in the foster care system. He throws a table at a bully in retaliation to being mocked, knocking the bully out cold. No other injuries. Would it be serious enough to warrant him being tried in adult court? Do note that the main character has a history of acting out and is considered a problem student at school due to his anger issues, while the bully comes from a pretty well-off family who wants to screw his life up by bringing the full extent of the law down on him.

  2. If he were to be tried in adult court, he would be charged with either battery or battery causing serious bodily injury under California law, is that correct? I do know it would depend on the amount of damage done however; the bully was only knocked out cold.

  3. The above questions are just to give context to the real issue – I need the protagonist to be charged with a crime serious enough to warrant him a year in lockup (main point is to isolate him from society). Would a battery causing serious bodily injury conviction (adult court or juvenile court) be plausible?

  4. Can he be locked up for a year in juvie? Or it has to be prison? Because I really don’t want to subject a 15-year-old through the horrors of a US jail but still need him to be isolated from society in lock-up for a year for plot purposes.

  5. Being a 15-year-old in the foster care system, would he have access to his own birth certificate? Because the story hinges on him not knowing anything regarding his background until his social worker reveals it to him.

  6. Also, before the entire “table” incident, I have a scene set during 9th grade social studies/US History class, where the students have to give presentations on their family background before coming to America. Is this plausible for a 9th grade social studies/US History class?

Searched terms: Foster child birth certificate, foundling birth certificate America, role of social worker, do foster children have access to their birth certificates, California assault law, California battery law, juvenile court San Diego, juvenile hall America, Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, minor tried as adult circumstances, foster child in prison, 9th grade US History syllabus, 9th grade social studies syllabus

Not an American, never set foot in the US before. Any other website suggestions are welcomed, thanks!

Tags: 1990-1999, usa: california, usa: education (misc), usa: government (misc), usa: government: prison
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