Helping create a brighter future for foster youth across America
The National Foster Youth Institute envisions a nation where all children are raised in safe and loving families and where the child welfare system serves as a beacon of hope for families in need.
To achieve our vision, we aim to transform the child welfare system and vastly improve outcomes for foster youth by empowering the youth and their families, building a grassroots movement in 435 congressional districts across the country, and partnering with committed policymakers. Truly transformative foster care reform will not come to fruition until the individuals who have personally experienced the child welfare system have a strong voice in the policymaking process. And NFYI is dedicated to ensuring their place at the table.
Our dedicated leadership and staff are responsible for making the National Foster Youth Institute what it is. Meet the people behind our organization.
On any given day, there are approximately 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. They come from a variety of circumstances––many have been removed from abusive and/or neglectful households, some have been given up or abandoned, and others have been left without anyone to care for them after the death or incarceration of parents. All, however, are put into the foster care system with the hope that they will grow up in a safer and more supportive environment. Despite good intentions, however, government bureaucracies often fail to deliver on promises to create a better life for these vulnerable children. As a result, many foster youth experience a childhood that is far from ideal. Foster youth often bounce from home to home and school to school, suffer abuse, and lack the stability and support provided by a loving family. Young people who are brought up in foster care endure problems such as poverty, compromised health, unemployment, and incarceration at higher rates than their peers. Meanwhile, the families of these foster youth continue to struggle with poverty, mental illness, and addiction, without access to the support and resources needed to keep their families together.
The National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI) was created to organize foster youth and families, foster care alumni, and allies in Congress and across the country, to advocate for the transformation of the nation’s child welfare system.
“Who better to advocate for foster care besides the foster youth who live through it? “
– Brian Morgantini