Oftentimes, despite good intentions, the child welfare system treats youth in its care as “outsiders” to the process. Judges, lawyers, social workers, and other professionals make decisions for youth, as opposed to with youth. Through the Youth Empowerment Program, the Children’s Law Center is seeking to shift this system culture by highlighting the experiences and expertise of young people who have personally experienced foster care.
The main focus of this service area is to create a youth-led, peer-driven, grassroots advocacy group of young people, ages 15 to 25, who have previously experienced or are currently in foster care. As a part of the national Foster Youth in Action network, this group is committed to improving the foster care system through youth organizing, advocacy, education, and leadership development.
Our belief is that by empowering foster youth to be strong leaders, amplifying their voices to educate policymakers, and creating opportunities for influence, we can change the culture and practice of Colorado child welfare for the better.
This service area also provides training and consultation on youth engagement, positive youth development, and advocacy for transition-age youth to agencies, non-profit organizations, or other professionals.
For more information about the Youth Empowerment Program, contact Betsy Fordyce, JD, CWLS by filling out this form: