In The News

Jun 3, 2019 | The Hill

Op-ed: For Youth in Foster Care, Mentors Matter

Every day, young people in foster care face important decisions about their education, home placements and family connections. Many foster youth are moved from living situation to living situation and the relationships they’ve built with their biological and foster families, teachers and other caring adults are disrupted, leaving the transported foster youth to start from scratch.

Oct 5, 2018 | Social Work Helper

Social Work Helper: Reps. Bass, Marino Introduce Legislation To Develop And Enhance Kinship Navigator Programs

Earlier this week, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Congressman Tom Marino (R-Penn.), Co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, introduced legislation to provide grants to states, tribes (including tribal consortia), territories or community-based organizations to develop, enhance, and evaluate Kinship Navigator programs. Kinship Navigator programs support family caregivers through complex legal and administrative systems, help avert crises, prevent multiple child placements, and avoid the need for more costly services.

May 29, 2018 | The Hill

Op-ed: In the shadow of another epidemic, we must protect our children

When a child is removed from their parent and placed in the child welfare system, the government becomes that child’s parent. Too often, the government forgets this commitment and life goes on for those not in the child welfare system. But for those in it, they come to feel trapped and forgotten. It’s our job as elected officials here in Congress, to make sure that we support our children and reform the child welfare system.

May 24, 2018 | Roll Call

Roll Call: Foster Youth Come to Capitol Hill, Share Experiences in the System

Simon was one of more than 100 young people on the Hill on Wednesday doing the same thing — trailing members of Congress as part of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth’s seventh annual shadow day. The caucus works with the National Foster Youth Institute to bring young people who recently left foster care to Washington to share their experiences with lawmakers.

May 24, 2018 | Teen Vogue

Op-ed: I Was a Foster Child and Now I'm a Foster Care Activist

I was a junior in high school when I finally found the courage to speak up and tell a school counselor about the physical, verbal, and emotional abuse I was facing. When counseling and other supportive measures failed to repair the damage, I was placed in foster care.

May 23, 2018 | Valley Voice

Valley Voice: Congressman Valadao Participates in Foster Youth Shadow Day

Congressman David Valadao, who is a member of the Congressional Foster Youth Caucus, hosted Ms. Jessica Lopez-Jimenez of Mendota, California at the nation’s capital. During the event, Jessica had the opportunity to get an in-depth look at Congress and the legislative process. In addition to attending a local television interview with Congressman Valadao, Jessica participated in policy meetings with the Congressman and his staff. Additionally, Congressman Valadao and Jessica discussed child welfare policy over lunch before taking a tour of the United States Capitol.

May 22, 2018 | Social Help Worker

Social Help Worker: 100 Former Foster Youth Visit Members of Congress to Advocate for Child Welfare Reform

The National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI, is gearing up once again to bring over 100 current and former foster youth, selected from a nationwide pool of applicants to Washington D.C. for a week of leadership training sessions, workshops on activism, and legislative meetings, culminating in an opportunity to spend a day “shadowing” their individual Congress members. Shadow Day attendees, some as young as 18, have all spent time in the foster care system and will share their experiences, while advocating for reforms in the child welfare system, both in their district and...

Jan 15, 2018 | Blativity

Op-ed: From Alabama To DC: My Experience Fighting For Foster Youth

Many siblings enter the child welfare system and are separated. Some are sent one town over, while others are sent to the other side of the state. What many don’t realize is that when siblings are separated, the government sometimes doesn’t share contact information, or even schedule visits or reunification. The child involved isn’t told how to find their sibling once they turn 18, and they aren’t told where their sibling was moved to.

Jun 13, 2017 | Teen Vogue

How Foster Youth Shadow Day Helped Me Find Peace

In this op-ed, Ruth Contreras-Arnold explains what it's like to be in the foster care system, and how a day on Capitol Hill empowered her. Shadow day is a great opportunity to have the voices of foster youth heard.

Jun 1, 2017 | Tri County Sentry

Rep. Bass, Bipartisan Congressional Caucus On Foster Youth Host 100+ Foster Youth For 6th Annual Shadow Day

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY) hosted more than 100 current and former foster youth from across the country as part of the 6th Annual Foster Youth Shadow Day in Washington, D.C. Every year, the event allows youth to share their experiences in foster care directly with Member of Congress to help inform and improve child welfare policy.