Youth Fostering Change Tells PA Legislators Why Permanency Matters for Older Youth

Youth advocates, legislators standing behind podium during press conference.

Yesterday, members of Youth Fostering Change (YFC) and Juvenile Law Center attorneys gave testimony at a special hearing before the House Children and Youth Committee. The hearing focused on improving the chances for finding family and permanency for older youth in the child welfare system. The youth advocates were recognized on the Floor of the House as Representative Tarah Toohil introduced a resolution to acknowledge Foster Care Month. 

YFC also spoke alongside lawmakers at a press conference following the hearing and resolution. Watch their powerful remarks in this video.

We believe youth must be part of working towards meaningful change -- especially for laws and policies that affect their lives. In Harrisburg, our youth advocates made sure legislators and reporters felt the urgency of finding family and supportive connections for older youth in foster care who too often leave the system without any support -- and sometimes without a home.

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Youth advocates giving testimony at legislative hearing.
Above: Lakeema, YFC Youth Advocate, giving testimony alongside Youth Advocates Anthony (left) and Alexis (right).

 

Lakeema gave a powerful testimony about the impact of permanency and stability on young people's lives:

"We are testifying today because we do not want other youth to experience what we have. Permanency is important to all youth, but especially for youth aging out of care and for those who may not have anywhere stable to go.

When I was in care, I never stayed in one spot. I was always being bounced around from home to home. It wasn’t fair because it’s something youth have no control over. Having placement stability could have changed many things in my life for the better. I wish someone would’ve asked me what was going on, and ensured that I was protected in my homes and that I wasn’t constantly moved around.

I am now at a place in my life where I understand how not having much stability has impacted my life and how important it is for other youth in foster care. The decisions that you make moving forward can drastically change the outcomes for youth in foster care."

Youth advocates with PA Representatives.
L to R: Rep. Tarah Toohil; Alexis, Youth Advocate; Lakeema, Youth Advovate; Jonathan, Youth Advocate; Rep. Margo Davidson; Anthony, Youth Advocate; Rep. Danilo Burgos

 

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