2012 Foster Youth Interns Make their Voices Heard!

CCAI’s 2012 Foster Youth Interns (FYI) had a message to deliver to Capitol Hill: Here us now! The group of 13 former foster youth felt that for too long their voices had gone unheard, so on July 31, they released their Congressional Report and delivered an accompanying presentation to a captive audience which included Members of Congress, Hill staffers and representatives from several child welfare organizations.

For those who were unable to attend, you can watch the full briefing here.

Foster Youth Interns Arrive in Washington!

CCAI is extremely excited that our 15 Foster Youth Interns (FYI) arrive in Washington, DC today to begin their summer-long assignment on Capitol Hill.

This assignment provides individuals who have spent time in the United States foster care system with an opportunity to intern in a Congressional office, and share their experiences, opinions and unique perspectives with policymakers in Congress. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the program; 106 extremely talented, passionate and impressive individuals have participated in the past decade.

Welcome to Washington, FYIs. We’ve been waiting for you!

FYI Class of 2009
FYI Class of 2010
FYI Class of 2011
FYI Class of 2012

Foster Care Month press conference on Capitol Hill today

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and U.S. Rep. Karen Bass held a press conference today to mark National Foster Care Month.  Two long-time foster care champions, Landrieu and Bass shared their personal history and connection to this vital issue, as did former foster youth working on Capitol Hill and in D.C., including a staff member working in Senator Landrieu’s office.  On this same day, Bass introduced the Foster Care Mentoring Act, the companion bill to legislation introduced by Senator Landrieu in March.

You just have to raise your hand

January is National Mentoring Month meant to spotlight the importance of mentors and the need for each child to have a caring adult in his or her life.  While almost any child could benefit from having a mentor, one population that needs positive and genuine relationships more than anyone is children and youth in foster care.  Two of my favorite PSAs were produced by Casey Family Programs as part of their Raise Me Up campaign.  While the campaign’s website is no longer active, I was able to find the PSAs on Youtube:

One of CCAI’s own Foster Youth Interns from last year, Sam Martin shared about his own mentor saying, “He stepped into a father role for me.  He’s been there whenever I’ve needed him because he knows I don’t have any other support.  He is one of the reasons I flourished.  I really don’t know where I’d be without him.  He has changed my life.”

Studies continue to confirm this message–mentors make an important and lasting impact in the lives of children.  Children who are mentored are 45% less likely to use illicit drugs, 59% more likely to succeed in school, and 73% more likely to attain higher life achievement goals.

Be sure to visit nationalmentoringmonth.org to learn how you can get involved in mentoring this month!