Child Welfare Ideas From the Experts #4: Training Older Youth

The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 11 former foster youths who completed Congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, with support from the Sara Start Fund.

Each of the FYI participants crafted a carefully researched policy recommendation during their time in Washington. Today, we highlight the recommendation of Darrah Hall, 22, a senior at the University of Memphis and a peer advocate for foster youth in Tennessee.

The Proposal

The scope of the federally funded Court Improvement Program should be extended to support trainings of foster youths age 14 and above.

Trainings would “explain court and agency personnel, their roles, legal definitions, court processes and timelines.” They would also educate youths in applicable states about permanency options after 18, with a goal of increasing the amount of youth who choose to stay in extended foster care.

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