Georgia Empowerment logoName of group: Georgia EmpowerMEnt

When started: 2006

Advocating for: the 8,500 foster youth in Georgia

Sponsoring non-profit organization: MAAC, or the Mult-Agency Alliance for Children, is a collaboration between nine agencies who network together to provide placement and support for at-risk youth in Georgia. EmpowerMEnt is a MAAC initiative founded by former and current foster youth in Georgia who are working with community leaders to change the foster care system.

The EmpowerMEnt project’s mission:

Georgia EmpowerMEnt is a youth-led advocacy movement with strong adult support that is motivated by changing the foster care system. As foster youth, we believe that transitioning youth in Georgia deserve better and can do better.

We believe our voice and our input can inform the discussion about what we need in Georgia. We have convened and engaged more than 300 current and former foster youth in Georgia to develop the list of EmpowerMEnt priorities. This list was compiled by a youth representing a wide mix of age, race, sex, parental status, geography and foster care placements. It was compiled to help us share our experiences and recommendations.

Our goal is to have child welfare administrators and workers, foster parents, group home workers, child advocates and attorneys, the business and faith community, other youth in and formerly in foster care and other community members hear our voices and join us in advocating for positive changes in the foster care system in the State of Georgia.

Georgia EmpowerMEnt serves young people ages 14 and up who are facing transition from foster care as well as emerging adults ages 21-26 who are transitioning beyond foster care. Georgia EmpowerMEnt embraces continued adult support from alumni of care with no age limit. Georgia EmpowerMEnt is inclusive of young adults who have navigated any type of experience in foster care, regardless of their current status in or out of care.