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Foster youth grow as leaders by developing solutions for Oregon’s foster care system. From their unique perspective as youth who have experienced foster care, OFYC members participate in key child welfare advisory meetings, provide education on foster care issues, and advocate for policy change in the Oregon Legislature. They learn to communicate effectively, problem-solve, and work on a team to achieve their goals.

Learn more and become a member at www.ofyc.org

Youth Leadership

Foster youth grow as leaders by developing solutions for Oregon’s foster care system. From their unique perspective as youth who have experienced foster care, OFYC members participate in key child welfare advisory meetings, provide education on foster care issues, and advocate for policy change in the Oregon Legislature. They learn to communicate effectively, problem-solve, and work on a team to achieve their goals.

Meaningful Support

Through peer support and adult mentorship, members have the opportunity to build community with foster youth from all walks of life. Participating youth gain confidence from their experiences in foster care while building a foundation of support for a productive and successful adulthood.

Lasting Impact

OFYC youth establish long-term change within the foster care system by developing and advocating for policies in the Oregon Legislature. Wins secured by youth include the Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights, a tuition waiver at state universities and community colleges for youth who spent time in Oregon’s foster care system, and the ability for foster children to open savings accounts in their own name. Alumni of OFYC have moved on to higher education, leadership roles in government, and career paths that build on the skills gained in OFYC.

Legislative Achievements

2017Sibling Bill of Rights — Ensures that youth in care are supported in preserving and strengthening relationships with their siblings.

“When you are in the foster care system, siblings are all the connection that you have. They know what you are going through; they know everything. They want to help you. They want to stick by you.” — Raven, OFYC member

2015Extracurricular Activities — Gives youth in care the opportunity to participate in activities with their peers, develop their talents, and build lifelong relationships by ensuring that Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and foster parents work together to support youth in joining at least one ongoing extracurricular activity.

“I knew that I needed something to help me get through my challenges or I’d shutdown. I put all I had into extracurricular activities and found that it helped immensely. I came to realize I love helping others, being a leader, and standing up for what I believe in. Because of my activities, I have a plan of what I intend to do after I graduate.” — Alexis, OFYC member

Savings Accounts — Ensures that foster youth 12 years old or older receive direct assistance from DHS in establishing their own savings accounts.


2013Bill of Rights — Establishes clear requirements for informing foster youth about their legal rights and establishes a hotline answered by the Foster Care Ombudsman, which is an independent resource to investigate complaints, concerns, or violation of rights for children in the custody of Oregon DHS Foster Care.

“As a foster child, all you want to know is that someone has your back. By educating foster children about their rights, and setting up a grievance procedure if their rights are violated, we make one solid push to give foster kids safety and protection. That’s the very minimum any parent wants for their kid.” — Patrick, OFYC member

2011Tuition Waiver — Waives tuition and fees at state universities and community colleges for youth who spent time in Oregon’s foster care system.

“I want the chance to succeed. I have the grades, now I know I’ll have the resources.” — Nicole, OFYC member

2010Medical Assistance — Grants eligibility for Oregon Health Plan Plus healthcare coverage for all youth in Oregon’s foster care system when they turn 18.


2009Driving Privileges — Requires DHS to provide assistance to foster youth in obtaining a driver’s license.

 

Stay Connected

For more information or to get involved, contact OFYC’s Program Director Lisa McMahon.

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Many Thanks to Our 2018 Sponsors

 

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