Why McKenna’s Law Matters


Over the past two years McKenna Ahrenholz, now 13, courageously testified several times to the Minnesota legislature that her county repeatedly returned her and her three siblings home from foster care against their wishes. “My father abused us”, she said.   “Why would we want to go back?” 

With support from Children’s Law Center, she inspired McKenna’s Law, which requires counties to “fully and effectively” inform children 10 and older of their right to free legal counsel. This gives them leverage to challenge the current social work orthodoxy that children in foster care almost always really want to go home.

It was once a basic expectation that workers listen carefully to children and take their wishes into account.  McKenna’s Law can help restore this practice.


See the full text of McKenna’s Law here.

Rich Gehrman