Twelve current and former foster youth are participating in CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship program, spending their summer interning for Members of Congress on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, July 28 at a Congressional Briefing, they will use their legislative knowledge combined with their personal experience to educate federal policymakers on opportunities for reform in the U.S. foster care system. Each intern has researched and will present creative policy solutions on a range of topics. For the six days leading up to the briefing, we will provide a preview of two of the interns’ report topics.
Marcia Hopkins, Age 26
Internship assignment: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
Report focus: Transition strategy for youth leaving care and redefining the definition of homelessness
Why it’s important to Marcia: “Every year in the U.S. approximately 200,000 youth exit care without permanent connections. Due to the lack of permanent connections and limited resources, youth are further prohibited from securing stability after care, leading to other negative life outcomes like homelessness.”
Brianne Lyn Nagamine, Age 20
Internship assignment: Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Report focus: Suicide Prevention Through Trauma-informed training and peer support groups for youth in foster care
Why it’s important to Brianne: “I experienced multiple forms of trauma and grieved for all the loss in my life. I became depressed and struggled with suicidal thoughts. Foster youth can benefit from peer support groups because it brings other like-minded foster youth together to share their pain, stories and help one another heal from their grief and trauma.”
Be sure to attend the Congressional Briefing on Tuesday, July 28 to learn about Marcia’s and Brianne’s policy recommendations on improving the transition planning process and trauma-informed education and access to peer support groups for youth in foster care. If you are unable to make it, you can download a copy of the report at www.ccainsitute.org once it is released on the 28th!