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Paris Hilton testifies in front of US Congress about youth in care. She has long blond wavy hair and wears a lacy blue dress. She sits behind a microphone.

Paris Hilton Continues Fight For Kids in Care

Paris Hilton is continuing her fight for youth in care, not only calling for a federal program to oversee the foster system, but also welfare laws that will better protect kids and teens.

In a powerful speech to US Congress during the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday (Thursday in Aus), the media personality, entrepreneur and mother-of-two – who has previously shared her own traumatic experiences of being in care – said she will “not stop until America’s youth is safe.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to discuss how to improve care for the nearly 400,000 children that are living in the foster care system as we speak. While my experience was not through the foster care system, I know from personal experience the harm that is caused by being placed in youth residential treatment facilities.”

Paris, who was one of several expert witnesses providing testimony, said she was sent to a facility as a teenager to address her poor grades and ADHD.

“I was ripped from my bed in the middle of the night and transported across state lines to the first of four youth residential treatment facilities. These programs promised healing, growth and support, but instead did not allow me to speak, move freely, or even look out a window for two years. I was force-fed medications and sexually abused by the staff. I was violently restrained and dragged down hallways, stripped naked and thrown into solitary confinement. My parents were completely deceived, lied to and manipulated by this for-profit industry about the inhumane treatment I was experiencing.”

Paris also shared the stories of a 16-year-old boy who died in one of the facilities and a 7-year-old child who was abused.

“As a mum, these stories break my heart… The treatment these kids have had to endure is criminal. These kids deserve to grow up in safe, family-centred environments.”


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She explained that the $23 billion youth care industry sees vulnerable children as “dollar signs”:

“They’re caring more about profit than the safety of children.”

She urged lawmakers to understand that taking action is “a life or death responsibility” and shared her support for the committee’s bipartisan efforts to reauthorise a vital child welfare act which expired in 2021.

And she also shared a moving message for all kids in care:

“If you are a child in the system, hear my words. I see you. I believe you. I know what you’re going through and I won’t give up on you. You are important. Your future is important. And you deserve every opportunity to be safe and supported.”

Paris first opened up in 2021 about her mistreatment at a Utah facility, after releasing her This Is Paris documentary where she shared allegations of abuse against staff at a boarding school. She has been a fierce advocate for children in care ever since.

(Feature Image Credit: Paris Hilton, Samuel Corum/Getty Images)


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Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.