Voices’ Blog

Recap: Foster & Kinship Care Youth Advocacy Day

Posted:  -  By: Allison Gilbreath

On January 27th, Voices hosted its second annual “Uplifting Young Voices: Foster & Kinship Care Youth Advocacy Day”. Due to the pandemic, we shifted our efforts to meet the virtual legislative session like many other advocacy organizations. This change did not stop our dynamic group of young people from having their voices heard!

2021 Foster & Kinship Care Youth Advocacy Cohort

Derek Lem
Eva Elliyoun
Brianna Scott
Kamaria Wilburn
Fariha Rahman
Christopher Mavity

We are grateful for this group for their willingness to share their stories with legislatures with the hope of changing the lives of other children still in foster care.

Policy Priorities

The youth highlighted the 2021 Foster Care Unified Agenda and the need to address systemic racism within the foster care system. They highlighted the growing need to invest in the foster care workforce, specifically highlighting the impact of having multiple caseworkers as children in foster care. The group agreed that for those who aged out the challenge of having a caseworker with a large caseload impacted their ability to achieve permanency or build a transition plan for when they turned 18.

Legislative Visits

Youth meeting with Delegate Karrie Delaney and staff.“ We’ve seen enough, we don’t want any other kid to go through what we went through.” – Eva, Youth Advocate


Youth discussing policy priorities with Brendon, staff to Delegate Wendy Gooditis. “I feel pretty confident. The people we met with were engaged and took the time to listen to us.” — Chris


Meeting with Delegate Sickles (Chair of Appropriations) and staff. “It’s a lot to be humbled by our traumas and help each other.” –  Fariha

What’s Next

Youth in the cohort will be invited to participate in a policy roundtable with current lawmakers and candidates for office after the legislative session to help build priorities for the 2022 legislative session and the next gubernatorial administration.

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