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19 January 2017

January Newsletter

Headlines:

A Note From Our Executive Director
Dr. Phil Spotlights Foster Care
Leadership Corps Retreat
Leadership Corps Moving On
Newest Team Member: George
Final Thoughts

0c6917cc-9256-4f2e-80b6-0a83ea4d3c74A Note From Our Executive Director

While there are many uncertainties about the year ahead, we do know one thing for sure. Thanks to all our work last year, NFYI is making a difference, and our reach will be expanding in 2017. You’ll read more about some of the exciting initiatives we’ve recently introduced to our program below; what they add up to is new momentum for our determination to make sure the voices of the foster care community are a big part of the conversation about child welfare reform moving forward.

The newly-formed National Leadership Corps will be working to make sure NFYI understands the needs and priorities of transition-age youth, Shadow Day is an increasingly youth-led enterprise, and the relationships between NFYI’s leaders and their Members of Congress and other elected officials grow ever stronger.

NFYI Leadership Corps members will be working to protect health care for foster youth, to address the constant threat of homelessness that affects the stability of so many young lives, and to help craft legislation that provides the support families need to stay together. They will also be learning organizing skills they can use throughout their lives to improve their communities.

Please visit the Take Action page on our website: nfyi.org to find out concrete steps you can take to help.

May 2017 be a time for all of us to fight for what we believe in, and together make a difference for the nation’s foster youth and families.

In solidarity and hope,
Lilla

Dr. Phil Spotlights Foster Care

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On January 16,  Rep. Karen Bass was a guest on “The Dr. Phil Show.”  He and his wife Robin McGraw have been long-time advocates for children in the child welfare care system, and Ms. Bass spoke about the need for the system to be vastly improved.  Strong supporters like Dr. Phil can raise awareness and shine the spotlight on the country’s need to look for new, more effective and beneficial ways to care for the children in the system and in fact, keep them out of the system altogether, whenever possible.  Last May, he testified before Congress, recommending treatment for drug-addicted parents and stronger efforts to keep families together.  We salute and appreciate Dr. Phil’s long-standing support of young people in foster care and of NFYI. A portion of the show can be found here.

Leadership Corps Retreat

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In December, 30 members of the Leadership Corps (15 from across the country and 15 from Los Angeles) gathered to participate in a retreat in Long Beach, California. The purpose of the retreat was to create a stronger bond between foster youth across the country and build a grassroots movement to transform the child welfare system. During the retreat, we focused on the following:

1) What is community organizing? How we can organize a movement of our own for a better child welfare system.

2) A Needs Based Survey: an assessment survey to be administered to Transition Age Youth (those exiting the foster care system) across the nation to determine the most pressing issues facing former foster youth.

3) Recruiting for Shadow Day! Shadow Day is right around the corner and this year we are challenging ourselves to make the event even better than the last.

The Leadership Corps also enjoyed various presentations–a fantastic panel focused on community organizing, a holiday party, and time with Karen Bass and other awesome board members. Thank you to all who attended.

Leadership Corps Moving Forward

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Moving forward, the Leadership Corps is ready to put its planning into action! The Leadership Corps is having its first national conference call January 19th. We are going to be discussing, among other things, the Needs Based Survey, Shadow Day, and other goals for 2017. The NFYI team is excited to help young leaders take action in transforming the child welfare system on a local and national level.

Newest Team Member: George

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Hey, I’m George and I’m thrilled to take on the position of Administrative Coordinator with the NFYI family. I want to assure you that I’m going to work my hardest and do my part in propelling NFYI forward. I believe that current and former foster youth are unique in their capacity to adapt and be resilient in the face of adverse circumstances–for this reason I consider it a privilege to work closely with community leaders and advocates of the child welfare system. Thank you for being so warm in welcoming me these past few weeks. I hope to get to know each of you more in the near future. Until then, feel free to give me a call, send me an email, or stop by the office if you’re in the area. Ab Imo Pectore – George

Final Thoughts  

Please go to the DONATE page on our website to support the work of our Leadership Corps.  

Frank Anderson, one of the rock-stars at the NFYI Leadership Corps retreat in December, summed up his experience this way: “I enjoyed getting a new perspective on advocacy and learning more about how foster care ties into social issues and history.” Frank’s new perspective will make him an even stronger leader in the movement for child welfare reform.  With your help we can make sure that even more members of the NFYI family can contribute to our movement for change.

Lilla and the NFYI team

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