May 31, 2012
How You Can Help Improve The Child Welfare System
As National Foster Care Month comes to a close, Juvenile Law Center hopes you will continue to listen to the voices of current and former foster youth to understand the realities of the foster care system, along with the actions you can take and support you can provide to help improve the child welfare system.
As you've seen from the posts of our guest bloggers, youth in care have the same needs, hopes, and dreams of all youth, but often are not provided the support, resources, and care that all children deserve to make a successful transition to adulthood. One way to understand the needs and hopes of foster youth is by learning more about the work of Youth Fostering Change, our youth engagement group for current and former foster youth.
Pennsylvanians can take action to help improve opportunities for older youth in foster care by asking legislators to support Governor Corbett's proposal to implement the Older Youth Fostering Connections Extensions (learn more and take action here). In his guest column in the Scranton Times-Tribune, Ron Williams, Wyoming County, PA commissioner and foster parent, speaks compellingly and accurately about the benefits that adopting these options would bring to children, families, and the community: "These provisions would afford more support to families who want to adopt or provide guardianship arrangements to older youth in foster care and also provide more support and guidance for older youth in foster care who have not found a 'forever family.'" Read Mr. Williams' full column here. We appreciate his insights and hope they will inform your view and actions in the future.