Youth Fostering Change Alums Attend Foster Youth in Action Conference in D.C.
Earlier this month, advocates Tevin and Jasmine joined fellow foster youth advocates from eighteen states at the Leaders for Change conference in Washington, D.C. The conference was organized by Foster Youth in Action, a coalition of foster youth advocacy groups from across the nation; one of Juvenile Law Center's youth engagement programs, Youth Fostering Change (YFC) became a member of the coalition this year. Tevin and Jasmine are recent alumni of YFC, but they are both continuing their advocacy work on behalf of current and former foster youth.
After some fun, including a poetry slam (where Tevin came in second place!), the youth advocates got down to business. Each year, Foster Youth in Action selects one advocacy issue for the coalition to address. This year's issue focused on trauma and solutions to healing from trauma. The coalition developed a set of recommendations, including increased funding for peer-led advocacy and leadership groups, like YFC, and providing trauma-informed training to professionals who interact with youth, such as teachers and social workers.
The youth advocates prepared to give a briefing on Capitol Hill, and each advocacy group presented the coalition's recommendations during individual meetings with members of Congress. Tevin and Jasmine capped off the weekend by presenting these recommendations to an aide from Congressman Tom Marino’s office.