CCAI Foster Youth Interns Tell Capitol Hill: Hear Us Now!


CCAI’s Foster Youth Interns (FYI) have released a report, “Hear Me Now.” In it, the former foster youth share their personal experiences as well as policy recommendations to address child welfare issues, including:

  • Use of psychotropic medication among foster youth,
  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA),
  • Post-secondary education financing,
  • Juvenile justice system crossover, and
  • Human trafficking, in addition to various other foster care-related topics.

In past years, these reports have generated both local and national attention to the critical issues facing the 408,000 children currently in the United States foster care system.

“It has been my experience that the voices of foster care alumni are the ones we should be listening to more than any others. When they speak, things actually stand a chance of getting better. Not because their stories remind us of how far we have yet to go, but because their ingenuity and passion for making a difference show us just how far we can reach,” said Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of CCAI. “Each and every day, the FYIs use their voice on behalf of those who do not have one. They reveal their scars in the hope that others won’t have these same wounds inflicted upon them.”

Since its inception in 2003, over 100 former foster youth from across the country have produced four legislative reports and have hosted nine Congressional briefings. Over 100 specific policy recommendations have been presented to federal policymakers, and at least three have been enacted into law.

Please click here to read the report:


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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

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