A Note From Our Executive Director

nfyi executive director

In Like a Lion—and in a good way! March is off to a great start. We’ve launched the next cohort of our Job Shadow program; we’re busy getting ready for Listening Tours and Congressional Dinners in April; and our major event of the year—the DC Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program is coming up this May.

March is also Social Work Month, so let’s take a moment to thank those who do so much to try and make sure that foster youth have the loving care that we wish for all our children. Thank you!

And let’s not forget Women’s History Month, and our foremothers who worked so hard to bring us the vote, and the women in our lives today that inspire us to keep working for social justice and equality.

The Deadline to Apply for the DC Shadow Day Program is

Friday, March 18

There’s still time to get in under the wire so if you are or know a foster youth (ages 18 – 24) who would like to be considered for a trip to DC to meet their Member of Congress, the application can be found right here.

DC Shadow Day Program

Congressional Dinner on The Effects of Trauma on Children: Successful Practices for Prevention & Healing

Dr. Wendy Smith, NFYI board member and Associate Dean at the USC School of Social Work, and Marva Hammons, Executive Vice President of Child and Family Services, Casey Family Programs, spoke on what we are learning about the impact of early childhood trauma and its implications for child welfare policy. We had a full house of Congressmembers and staff for this excellent presentation. In a nutshell, the effect of trauma on the developing brain is so profound that it is changing our ideas about the critical importance of giving families the support they need to stay together and prevent separation if at all possible.

Dr.Wendy's presentation at Congressional Dinner

Here’s a summary of Dr. Wendy Smith’s presentation at the Congressional Dinner:

What Children’s Brains Are Telling Us About Trauma; Invest Early

NFYI visits Children’s Court

The Non Minor Dependent (NMD) Court will open the first week of April 2016. In an effort to maximize the positive impact of the court for Transition Age Youth (TAY), a special courthouse resources meeting was held on March 2, 2016, where service agencies and non-profits got together to discuss the various services each group offers.  NFYI attended and discussed our Job Shadow and Internship Programs, and the upcoming Washington DC Congressional Shadow Program. A resource booklet will be compiled and available to youth when attending court hearings.

nfyi children's court

Final Thoughts

final thoughts

We’re off to a great start this spring, and we have so much more to look forward to. Please lend a hand and help us transform the lives of foster youth and families in the months ahead. Every dollar counts as we expand our efforts to build grassroots power throughout the nation. You can donate here.

As we celebrate the victories of Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Dolores Huerta, and the unsung and often heroic deeds of social workers everywhere, let’s also remember that everyone who speaks out and advocates for change makes a difference. Together our voices  can make a mighty roar.

Happy Spring!

Lilla  G. Weinberger

Executive Director