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Registration is now OPEN for the…

2015 Advocacy Convening!

Click here for all the details!

If you’re 14-25 years old and have ever been in foster care, you’re invited!!!

Join 25 other current or former foster youth from across Oregon for three days of advocacy, activism, leadership and fun!

2015 Advocacy Convening: Pathways to Success

2013 Advocacy Convening: Day at the Capitol

2013 Advocacy Convening: Day at the Capitol

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2013 Advocacy Convening: Activity break!

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2013 Advocacy Convening: Team work

Congratulations OFYC!!

On July 21st, OFYC members and friends presented their policy recommendations to over 100 invited guests. If you missed it, you can download the  2014 OFYC Recommendations. Thank you to the dedicated and fearless youth that came and shared their experiences, and thank you to the many guests that came out to learn and support them on the last day of conference.

 

OFYC PanelMany have been asking “What’s next?!” OFYC has a tried and true method for developing and advocating for policy chance. Over the next 5 months, OFYC members and staff will work together to vet the policy recommendations to determine which are most viable and most important to youth in foster care right now. Then, they’ll begin having conversations with legislators and other public leaders to learn what the best option would be for moving forward. Does a law need to be passed? Does a Department policy need to change? Or is  the recommendation really connected to a training issue? These are all questions that will be asked between now and February 2015, when OFYC hosts its 2015 Advocacy Convening and takes one or two of their policy issues to the capitol.

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TODAY

Today is the day! 2014 OFYC Policy Conference: From Surviving, To Success!!

Over 50, current and former foster youth, OFYC members, and adult supporters will come together this weekend for three days to discuss challenges faced in the foster care system related to health education, housing, and removing barriers.

The youth will then translate those challenges into recommendations to be presented at the OFYC Policy Luncheon, Monday July 21st.

Last minute reminders for attendees:

The OFYC Policy Conference is July 18-21, 2014 at Pacific University (2043 College Way in Forest Grove, OR).

Registration begins on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM in the lobby of Clark Hall (residence hall).

Late registrations, after 6 pm should meet in Berglund Room 145/147.

Conference Check-out is Monday, July 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM.

Please bring a coat, all meals will be served al fresco (outside).

Please remember to bring your own towel for the showers.

Smokers should remember to bring there Oregon State Identification cards. Underage smoking will not be tolerated.

On Saturday, (July 19th) evening there will be an open mic/ talent show/ karaoke. Remember to bring your talent, poems, music, and other art expressions to share with their peers.

On Sunday, (July 20th) morning you will be able to explore the specialty cars at the Car Show taking place on the Pacific University campus so they should bring comfortable shoes, clothes, and sunblock.

On Monday, (July 21st) afternoon you will be presenting your policy recommendations to legislators and other important decision-makers so they should bring a nice outfit (clean jeans with no holes) to wear for presentations.

Please bring your medications in the original bottles received from your pharmacist.

See you after 1:00 pm today!!!

sorenHave you heard? Soren Metzger the Oregon Foster Youth Connection Program Manager is saying goodbye!

A note from Soren Metzger:

“I’ve really enjoyed working with OFYC youth, adult supporters, and community partners. Highlights of my time with OFYC include new chapter recruitment, chapter support, and youth skills development trainings. Youth engagement in the recruitment of Oregon’s first ever Foster Care Ombudsman, Darin Mancuso. Youth empowerment in the planning and execution of action opportunities, the I’Mpossible Duffle Bag drive and Stuffing Party, the Zumba Dance Party, and the 2014 OFYC Policy Conference.

OFYC youth are brave and resilient leaders and I know they will continue to fight for a foster care system that ensures that all children and youth in the foster care system are well cared for and empowered to succeed.

My last day with CFFO as the OFYC Program Manager will be on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. If you have any questions or suggestions for a smooth transition please email me at Soren@cffo.org.”

countdown 

The 2014 OFYC Policy Conference is for current and former foster youth ages 14-25 who identify with the foster care experience, this includes youth who have been involved with Oregon Youth Authority; residential treatment; adopted; kinship care; intensive/therapeutic care; specialized care; emergency resource care; Independent Living Programs; runaways; homeless youth; and youth who’ve aged out of care.

Youth do not need to have an open case, there is no ILP involvement requirement for participation, and no minimum requirements for time in care.

Join current  and former foster youth from across Oregon for four days of fun, leadership, and speaking up for change in the foster care system!

When: July 18 – July 21

Where: Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR

Cost: No Cost to Attend

Why: To Improve the Oregon Foster Care System

In case you missed it, at our last conference we worked on a Foster Youth Bill of Rights, and went on to pass a law that requires the Department of Human Services to post youth rights in all foster homes! We were also responsible for creating a new position in the Governor’s office, called the Foster Care Ombudsman, to protect the rights of kids in state care. This Ombudsman will be available to take calls from any foster youth in the state who feels unsafe in care or who has concerns about his or her rights.

This year, members of the Oregon Foster Youth Connection have voted to discuss recommendations in three areas:

1.) Housing

When you age out of foster care, do you know where you will live? Do you have a place to stay that is safe and reliable? If you go to college, where will you go when the dorms close during winter and summer breaks? These are just some of the ways that housing is an important issue for those transitioning from foster care.

2.) Removing Barriers

Becoming an adult is difficult for anyone, from any family. But If you’ve been in foster care, there are many additional barriers that could get in the way of you reaching your dreams. As a group, you’ll get to decide what the biggest barriers are and how you think we can bust through them.

3.) Health Education

Health issues can be especially challenging for youth who have been in foster care. If you move schools a lot when you change foster homes, you might miss out on important health education classes. How do you catch up? If your doctor says you should be on some sort of medication, can you ask questions? Can you request a second opinion? These are complicated issues and if you choose this track, you can partner with other youth to come up with ideas for how kids in foster care can navigate caring for all aspects of their health.

In your registration packet, you will get to choose the issue area you would like to focus on.

Once you arrive, you will learn what’s going on in our state related to your policy issue and how to talk about your personal experiences with that particular issue. Then you will work with other foster youth to discuss ways to improve that part of the foster care system.

Through workshops and activities, you will learn how to form your ideas into concrete policy recommendations.

On the last day of the conference, you will present your recommendations as part of a team to public leaders, policy makers, DHS administrators, and community partners who work with current or former foster youth.

Immediately following the presentations, you will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas—and how to make them happen—over lunch.

To Register, download a registration packet here:

If you are OVER 18: Policy Conference Registration Packet Over 18

If you are UNDER 18: Policy Conference Registration Packet Under 18

To register online click HERE.

For questions email OFYC Program Manager, Soren Metzger soren@cffo.org.

 

 

 don-t-keep-calm-only-6-days-left

The 2014 OFYC Policy Conference is for current and former foster youth ages 14-25 who identify with the foster care experience, this includes youth who have been involved with Oregon Youth Authority; residential treatment; adopted; kinship care; intensive/therapeutic care; specialized care; emergency resource care; Independent Living Programs; runaways; homeless youth; and youth who’ve aged out of care.

Youth do not need to have an open case, there is no ILP involvement requirement for participation, and no minimum requirements for time in care.

Join current  and former foster youth from across Oregon for four days of fun, leadership, and speaking up for change in the foster care system!

When: July 18 – July 21

Where: Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR

Cost: No Cost to Attend

Why: To Improve the Oregon Foster Care System

In case you missed it, at our last conference we worked on a Foster Youth Bill of Rights, and went on to pass a law that requires the Department of Human Services to post youth rights in all foster homes! We were also responsible for creating a new position in the Governor’s office, called the Foster Care Ombudsman, to protect the rights of kids in state care. This Ombudsman will be available to take calls from any foster youth in the state who feels unsafe in care or who has concerns about his or her rights.

This year, members of the Oregon Foster Youth Connection have voted to discuss recommendations in three areas:

1.) Housing

When you age out of foster care, do you know where you will live? Do you have a place to stay that is safe and reliable? If you go to college, where will you go when the dorms close during winter and summer breaks? These are just some of the ways that housing is an important issue for those transitioning from foster care.

2.) Removing Barriers

Becoming an adult is difficult for anyone, from any family. But If you’ve been in foster care, there are many additional barriers that could get in the way of you reaching your dreams. As a group, you’ll get to decide what the biggest barriers are and how you think we can bust through them.

3.) Health Education

Health issues can be especially challenging for youth who have been in foster care. If you move schools a lot when you change foster homes, you might miss out on important health education classes. How do you catch up? If your doctor says you should be on some sort of medication, can you ask questions? Can you request a second opinion? These are complicated issues and if you choose this track, you can partner with other youth to come up with ideas for how kids in foster care can navigate caring for all aspects of their health.

In your registration packet, you will get to choose the issue area you would like to focus on.

Once you arrive, you will learn what’s going on in our state related to your policy issue and how to talk about your personal experiences with that particular issue. Then you will work with other foster youth to discuss ways to improve that part of the foster care system.

Through workshops and activities, you will learn how to form your ideas into concrete policy recommendations.

On the last day of the conference, you will present your recommendations as part of a team to public leaders, policy makers, DHS administrators, and community partners who work with current or former foster youth.

Immediately following the presentations, you will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas—and how to make them happen—over lunch.

To Register, download a registration packet here:

If you are OVER 18: Policy Conference Registration Packet Over 18

If you are UNDER 18: Policy Conference Registration Packet Under 18

To register online click HERE.

For questions email OFYC Program Manager, Soren Metzger soren@cffo.org.

 

 

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Emma Patrick recently completed her senior project and internship at Looking Glass and as an OFYC adult supporter. Emma will graduate later this month from the University of Oregon and hopes to continue her career in social work.

A message from the OFYC Lane County Advisor:

“Emma did an outstanding job assisting OFYC members this past year. She listened to the youth’s input and interests and used that information to find meaningful action opportunities in the community for the youth to participate in. Emma made sure members received OFYC minutes, updates on meetings, and information about action opportunities in a timely manner. She will be missed!”

Thank you for a job well done and good luck to you!

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