Youth Fostering Change's Road Map to Reform

Road Map to Reform: Developing a Trauma Sensitive, Mental Wellness Approach to Supporting Youth and Families in Foster Care

For their 2019-2020 annual project, youth advocates in Youth Fostering Change (YFC) decided to tackle the incredible need for community-based and therapeutic supports and access to mental wellness services for youth in care. Youth advocates used their personal experiences in this system to identify what supports they needed at key points in their time in care that were not provided for them.  Youth advocates from YFC crafted recommendations both locally and statewide to support these mental and behavioral health needs of young people in the child welfare system. In these recommendations, youth advocates are advocating for more robust community-based supports for youth who are already system-involved and for supports to prevent them and their families from ever becoming system-involved. 

Youth advocates from YFC worked with staff to design a tool for professionals who work directly with youth called a “Road Map.” The Road Map’s design is to utilize story mapping with youth to help them further engage in their case planning by identifying places or points in their life stories where they should or could have received an intervention, or wanted to be connected to services or other supports that promote their well-being and help them heal.

Youth Advocates from YFC met with members of the Philadelphia Coalition on Mental Health to share their project ideas and gain support for their roadmap. Several members of the coalition were excited about the opportunity to use the roadmap with the youth they serve.