June Newsletter



A Note From Our Executive Director

Congressional Shadow Day

Exciting News: The Family First Prevention Act

Final Thoughts

nfyi executive director addresses the audience with a microphone A Note From Our Executive Director

This month we take you with us to the White House and the halls of the nation’s capital, along with over 100 foster youth and their Members of Congress. This was NFYI’s 5th Shadow Day Program and the mood in DC was definitely festive!

The Los Angeles Times summed it up in this terrific article on what Shadow Day means for all who participate. Here is a day by day tour of the highlights. If you would like to make sure that #FosterYouthVoices continue to be heard, please click here to donate. Every little bit will go toward improving the lives of foster youth and their families.

Congressional Shadow Day Program: A Virtual Tour

Day One: Congressional Town Hall and a Screening of “The Fosters”

The Shadows met with Congressmembers Karen Bass, Robin Kelly, Diane Black, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. Each answered the youths’ questions about child welfare policies, how they got their job on the Hill, and so much more.

After the Town Hall, we had the pleasure of viewing an episode of “The Fosters”, followed by a panel discussion on the issues brought up in the show.

collage of audience questions and in a lecture hall

Day Two: White House Briefing and Training for the Big Day.

On Tuesday, the youth picked the brains of some of President Obama’s administrative staff at the White House. In the afternoon, everyone engaged in workshops about federal policy and major foster care issues.

Collage of youths participating in activities for Shadow day

Day Three: A Morning in the Life of a Member of Congress and an Unforgettable Lunch

The Shadows engaged with the Congressmember from their home district, and shared their personal experiences in the foster care system. The day was topped off with a speech from the legendary Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels of Run-D.M.C., who is also a former foster youth.

collage of special guests congressmen and DMC

Exciting News: The Family First Prevention Services Act

Seal of House of RepresentativesHouse and Senate members have released a proposal to keep more children safely at home and out of foster care. It was introduced in the House of Representatives as The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016. This legislation would change the way the federal government funds foster care by directing its support to keeping children safe while helping families stay together. This bi-partisan effort seeks to strengthen families and reduce inappropriate foster care placements.

You can read a summary of the Act here.

Final Thoughts  

At a time when our country is so divided that hope can be hard to find, the beauty of the DC Shadow Day Program, and the introduction of bipartisan child welfare legislation, reminds me that real change is possible. We are beginning to see the fruits of our hard work. The efforts of the NFYI  board and staff, of our partners across the country, and our allies in the Congress, have created an atmosphere of concern and understanding that makes the passage of this legislation a real possibility. Help us keep the momentum going by adding your support to our efforts.

Hopefully yours,

Lilla Weinberger

Executive Director