The National Foster Care
Youth & Alumni Policy Council
About the Council:
We serve to provide federal stakeholders with relevant and timely information as policies and procedures are created that will affect children and families throughout the country. The Council represents a collective viewpoint of youth and alumni who have experienced the child welfare system first-hand.
Our Policy Priorities
The Council develops policy priorities based on the experience of its membership, surveys of peers, and consultation with field experts and research. The topics are selected by Council members, and final Priorities are presented to the federal administration and other child welfare stakeholders.
Historic Opportunity for Reform: Prevention - Oct 2019
Social Capital — Oct 2017
Congregate Care: Reducing Reliance — Apr 2016
Congregate Care: Improving Services — Apr 2016
Homelessness Among Young Adults — Oct 2015
Crossover to Juvenile Justice — Oct 2015
Well-Being — Nov 2014
Higher Education — Apr 2013
Mental Health — Apr 2013
Normalcy — Apr 2013
Aging Out — Oct 2012
Vulnerability to Predators & Sex Trafficking — Oct 2012
Five ideas — Aug 2012
The National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council convenes to provide federal stakeholders with relevant and timely information as policies and procedures are created that will impact children and families throughout the country. The Council represents a collective viewpoint of youth and alumni who have personal experience in the foster care system.
The Council advises by:
- Using their experiences in foster care to identify and inform priorities and offer ideas to improve child welfare policy
- Educating policymakers and other stakeholders about their varied experiences in foster care
- Analyzing effectiveness of programs and policies based on the experiences of youth in foster care
The Council consists of 20 members geographically distributed across the country, reflecting a broad range of diversity encompassing, but not limited to, ethnicity, location of residency, religion and gender, and child welfare experiences.
The Council advises child welfare stakeholders by:
- Commenting on legislation and policies that impact youth in foster care;
- Proposing policies to improve the lives of youth;
- Monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of programs and policies.
The Council is a project in partnership between Foster Care Alumni of America and FosterClub, with generous support from Casey Family Programs.
Meet the Council Members:
Members of the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council are encouraged to apply by a partner organization. Every Spring, the Council staff distributes an application form to partner organizations. Partner organizations are encouraged to share the application with prospective members. Applicants will receive notice within one week of the application close date as to the status of their application. New members will be invited to attend the annual in person meeting and monthly NPC calls.
Council members are between the ages of 18 and 26 at the start of their service. All members must:
- Have personal experience in the foster care system (including all out-of-home placements, facilities, kinship placements, shelters, etc.)
- Demonstrate the capacity to participate in a leadership position involving child welfare policy (for example, through active leadership on a Youth Advisory Board or Youth Council)
- Gain permission to travel and be photographed, including ability to obtain required permissions from foster care agency if in extended care
- Demonstrate responsibility, self-drive and require minimal supervision
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Members of the Council will serve as a representative group for young people who have personal experience in the foster care system. The role of the Council members include (but are not limited to):
- Utilizing their knowledge of the child welfare system from their personal experiences as well as their advocacy work to inform federal stakeholders on the current state of youth in foster care
- Reviewing programs and policies to ensure they are achieving their established goals and objectives
- Responding to legislation and policies that impact youth in foster care
- Recommending methods to resolve issues and concerns involving youth in care
Council members serve a 24-month term beginning during the month of the first full group meeting following the new member's acceptance of their invitation. The responsibilities of Council members are to:
- Attend in-person Council meetings (one per year, and a monthly council phone call; meeting dates will be provided in-advance and staff will be pleased to work with Council member employers and/or schools to arrange participation)
- Join at least one active workgroup upon orientation
- Attend at least 75% of the workgroup meetings
- Become an active ambassador of the Council's priorities by identifying opportunities to share the priorities developed within their state / tribe / jurisdiction.
- Maintain professional conduct throughout their term of service
- Articulate ideas and solutions regarding youth issues and concern
- Interact constructively with peers in a group setting
Council Members in the media
Nov 1 - Teens Shouldn't be Put in this Position - Joshua Christian in Children's Bureau Express
Oct 25 - Love as Destiny: A Former Foster Youth's Journey in Motherhood - Katarina Sayally in Chronicle of Social Change
Sept 5 - Oklahoma seeks to address lawyer shortage for abused and neglected children - David Hall in State Impact Oklahoma, NPR
Aug 30 - Former foster kid helping others with trauma of being moved from home to home - Joshua Christian in WTHR13
Aug 9 - Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #3: Individual Care Plans for Disabled Foster Youth - David Hall in Chronicle of Social Change
Aug 5 - Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #1: Getting Tough on Educational Stability - Joshua Christian in Chronicle of Social Change
May 28 - College Graduation: A Bittersweet Success for Former Foster Youth - Shay House in Children's Rights
May 21 - Finding Home, Katarina Kabick on KQED, Bay Area (CA)
May 21 - Make Change, Be Involved, Jade Tillequots on The Mockingbird Society
Feb 20 - Former Foster Youth Share Findings of Survey on Preventing Removals from Families, Chronicle of Social Change
May 30 - Beating the Odds, by Samantha Smith on Children's Rights
Sept. 24 - Youth View Family First Act as an Opportunity to Strengthen Families, by Brittney Barros in Chronicle of Social Change
Sept 26 - No Longer Preventing Prevention Services, by David Hall in Chronicle of Social Change
Sept 18 - Improve safeguards in foster care system, by Brian Morgantini in the Scranton Times Tribune (PA)