FYA to hold first press conference on National foster youth priorities October 24th

Christie Renick/ October 9, 2016/ FYA

FYA is so excited topressconfannouncemt hold our first press conference as the culminating event of the national conference on October 24th.  TWENTY-ONE foster youth-led organizations representing their states come together to release the results of Foster Youth in Action’s national poll on the priorities of today’s foster youth. Foster Youth leaders from around the country are slated to speak, and have planned all aspects of the press conference.

Do you know any journalists you think would like to cover the event? Please share this media advisory with them.

See below for the full text of the Media Advisory.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7th, 2016

CONTACT: Matt Rosen * Foster Youth in Action * W: 510-528-7440 * C: 415-342-1267 * mrosen@fosteryouthaction.org


National poll conducted by grassroots foster youth-led network reveals Strengthening Sibling Connections as top issue

[Washington, DC] TWENTY-ONE foster youth-led organizations representing their states come together the morning of October 24th to release the results of Foster Youth in Action’s national poll on the priorities of today’s foster youth. This powerful group, representing hundreds of thousands of their peers, are urging the next administration to focus its attention on a series of issues identified by them and the foster youth they represent. In addition to (a) STRENGTHENING SIBLING CONNECTIONS, FYA’s poll revealed that foster youth advocates are also most concerned about (b) PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS FOR FOSTER YOUTH, (c) COLLEGE ACCESS, and (d) LIVING INDEPENDENTLY.

Current and former foster youth are frequently invited to DC to provide input and advice to legislators and other government officials on issues and priorities predetermined by advocates and policymakers; this press conference flips the script, giving a unique, one-of-kind opportunity for youth and young adults with experience in foster care to raise awareness about the reforms they believe government should be focusing on.

Based on results from over 500 youth and young adults in more than 25 states, SIBLING CONNECTIONS was voted as the top concern of foster youth. The poll was designed by Leaders United, a council of youth and young adult representatives of Foster Youth in Action (FYA).  FYA is a grassroots network of foster youth-led groups across the US.  Drawing on the range of priorities determined through personal experience and peer to peer conversations, Leaders United selected 18 different issues and asked their peers to select their top five.

The results of this poll highlight the importance of directly hearing young people’s voices.  While much of the focus at the federal level over the past year has been on reducing reliance on group homes or other congregate care, the youth considered that a comparatively low priority, ranking it 11th out of the 18 issues.  Meanwhile, though strengthening the connections that foster youth have with their siblings was chosen as the highest priority of the youth, that issue has received relatively little focus and discussion in federal policymaking circles in recent years.  Better efforts should be made at the federal level to authentically engage today’s foster youth so that their priorities and the priorities of policymakers are more closely aligned.

This press conference is the culminating event for Leaders for Change – a grassroots, youth-led conference bringing foster youth and young adult leaders across the country to the Nation’s capitol. “We’re happy to facilitate this historic event,” said FYA executive director, Matt Rosen. “Our youth governing body, Leaders United, have spent countless hours planning and administering a national poll from our youth membership across the country. I’m proud to see them integrate the findings from their national survey with how the conference is structured.”

WHAT: Press Conference on Capitol Hill highlighting priorities of the nation’s foster youth
WHEN: Monday, October 24th, 2016 at 9 AM

415 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC.  Cross Streets are D and E.

WHO: Foster youth leaders with Foster Youth in Action’s national network of foster youth led groups. Press conference leaders include Serena from California Youth Connection, Steven from Texas’ Voices for Change, Brianne representing Hawaii’s foster youth, and Ta’Kijah Randolph, former foster youth and Legislative Correspondent to Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles).
WHY: Foster Youth Leaders want our nation’s child welfare leaders to know the unfiltered priorities of foster youth as we head into the next administration.  At the press conference, our leaders will highlight results of findings of a national poll, provide stories that illustrate these priorities, and challenge the incoming administration to redouble their focus on priorities that youth themselves raise up.