ON A ROLL: THE YOUTH-DRIVEN MOVEMENT FOR SIBLING RIGHTS FOR FOSTER YOUTH
Did you know that three years in a row, FYA’s national poll of foster youth priorities has Sibling Rights as the #1 Issue for youth across the US – despite existing federal requirements for states to maintain these critical connections?
Well, young people across our network are truly listening to their community base, stepping up and taking action to ensure that foster youth across our country have this basic human right respected.
We want to give a big shout out to the brave foster youth leaders of FYA partner the Minnesota Youth Leadership Council, who were inspired during FYA’s national Leaders for Change Conference where they heard from other states who had been working on Sibling Connections in their state. They took this learning back to Minnesota to begin working on their own Sibling Bill of Rights and educating elected officials on this important issue. Now, as a direct result of their work, Rep. Peggy Bennett has introduced bipartisan legislation in the Minnesota State House to assist foster youth stay connected to their siblings.
Meanwhile, In Idaho, Chalyce Hurt and other foster youth leaders also successfully fought for state legislation that codifies this basic right, and saw this legislation approved on March 28th. We are really proud of her! This incredible work follows the successful advocacy of other FYA partners like Oregon Foster Youth Connection and & California Youth Connection (CYC) who have have pushed successfully to improve sibling rights laws in their home states in the past two years.
FYA is proud to have made the connections, helped share learnings, and lift up the stories to support this youth-led sibling rights movement across the country.