The national conversation on older kids in foster care needs hope, encouragement – and transformation.
That’s why our advocacy efforts don’t stop in New York State.
When we say, “it’s never too late for family,” we mean it. We believe that whether a child is one or twenty-one years old, she or he needs a family. And we work relentlessly to connect each child with a permanent family. But, the children we focus on – age 10 and up – are usually written-off as “not adoptable”.
We’re working to change that thinking, to shift the national conversation away from Band-Aids and “support services” for youth leaving foster care to the goal being finding them loving families.
We do this through nationwide advocacy and consulting and public education/media campaigns:
Our advocacy and consulting encourages efforts to make finding permanent families for teens a top priority.
We work both within the child welfare community, and with policy makers, legislators, and other public officials to move the needle on changing policies so that they are child-centered.
Our most current policy advocacy initiative is Nobody Ages Out – a New York State-wide effort to ensure that every young person in foster care will have a family long before they reach the dreaded age of 21 when they “age out” of care and are, in essence, left without family or any support.
In addition to this new campaign, YGB works with public officials, policy makers, and legislators to advocate for foster care youth, including bringing the voices of youth to the table. See YGB’s Mary and Anni Kean in action with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congress persons John Lewis and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introducing the “Every Child Deserves a Family Act” in May 2013.
Our Public Education campaigns involve the media, videos, social media and more.
We know that changing the mind-set of the general public around teen adoption requires a multi-pronged effort. One of the best ways to shatter the myth of teens “unadoptable” is to actually show people who these amazing young people are!
Check out our recent video “A Story of Adoption” which shows the Toles family: Joe Toles, the adoptive father and his three sons, and which has over 55,000 views on YouTube since its launch in November 2013.
And don’t forget to check out where we are In The Media!