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mammaThe I’Mpossible Duffle Bag Drive will kick off on the first day of National Foster Care Month, May 1, 2014. The drive is to help Oregon Foster Youth Connection, a group of current and former foster youth, raise awareness of real issues facing children and youth in foster care.

Foster youth often come into care, move from place to place, and transition out of care with their belongings stuffed into trash bags. OFYC is collecting duffle bags and other items to comfort foster children and youth in care.

Some local businesses have already expressed their support of foster children in Oregon. Mamma Goat, a local Portland business, specializing in goat milk soaps, donated 1,100 teddy bears to the drive. The teddy bears will be added to the donated personal hygiene items; school supplies; books and blankets to go into the donated suitcases and duffle bags for foster youth.

For more information on how your local business can get involved in the I’Mpossible Duffle Bag Drive benefiting foster youth in Oregon email OFYC Program Manager, Soren Metzger at Soren@cffo.org or call (503)236-9754.

knightsMajor thanks to the Knights golf team from Warner Pacific College who attended the OFYC Tri-County chapter meeting this evening and helped prepare for the I’Mpossible Duffle Bag Drive to kick off during National Foster Care Month in May.

The Knights were a huge help to the OFYC chapter and together we were able to clean over 60 donated suitcases; cut over 200 bag tags; prepare over 400 donated teddy bears; bag over 100 toiletry sets; decorate 4 drop-site boxes; and cut over 30 tax receipts, among other things.

A special thanks to Coach Quincy Heard who worked to make this happen.

You can get involved with your local OFYC chapter too. For more information email the OFYC Program Manager, Soren Metzger at Soren@cffo.org.

d.bag

In 2012, more that 35% of foster youth experienced 3 or more placements while in care. Foster youth often come into care, move from place to place, and transition out of care with their belongings stuffed into trash bags. OFYC a group of current and former foster youth are collecting the following items to comfort other foster children and youth as they come into foster care. You can help by donating the following items:

Duffle bags
Personal hygiene items
Feminine care products
Hairbrushes and combs
School supplies
Notebooks or journals
Teen novels
Blankets

Donations will be accepted May 1 – 29th at the following drop-sites:

Children First for Oregon

1209 SE Belmont St. in Portland

9-5 pm, Monday – Friday

The Inn Home

5605 E. Burnside St. in Portland

8-5 pm, Monday – Friday

Juvenile Justice Complex

1401 NE 68th in Portland

8-5 pm, Monday – Friday

Human Services Building

500 Summer Street NE in Salem

8-5 pm, Monday – Friday

I.L.P. at Center Court Commons

2933 Center St. NE in Salem

8-5 pm, Monday – Friday

For more information email OFYC Program Manager, Soren Metzger at Soren@cffo.org or call (503)236-9754.

foster kidsOFYC members,

Children First for Oregon has a really special project in mind for National Foster Care Month, but we need your help.

As you know, there are thousands of foster youth currently in foster care who might be feeling alone or afraid. We want to send a message to all of them from you, sharing words of encouragement, advice, and inspiration. You know what they are going through because you’ve been there. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share with current foster youth?

If so, please take a moment to write thoughtful, heartfelt responses to some or all of the questions in the attached survey. You are free to write as much as you want for any of the answers.

Respond by Monday, April 18th and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Fred Meyer.

Thank you for being willing to share your encouragement, advice, and inspiration with other youth.

This is the link to the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VDGXSWF

 

TrainingThe 2014 OFYC Summer Policy Conference is just around the corner. Much needs to happen before then. Here is your chance to get involved…

Join other OFYC leaders at the 2014 Summer Policy Conference Planning training on Saturday, April 5th from 11-3 pm in Salem. This training is open to all OFYC members who’ve attended at least three meetings in the last year and have submitted an OFYC membership application available on the “Join Now” page at <http://oryouthconnection.org/join-now>. We would also like one advisor from each of the three chapters to attend. The training will be facilitated by Foster Youth in Action and will give OFYC youth the necessary tools to plan the 2014 Summer Policy Conference.

For more information on where the training will take place and to RSVP please email OFYC Program Manager, Soren Metzger <Soren@cffo.org> by April 3rd.

ST12

OFYC Youth have been asked to participate in the 2014 Rethinking Psychiatry Film Festival.

After showing the first hour of Short Term 12, OFYC youth will facilitate a discussion on the mental health system as it relates to youth in foster care.

Short Term 12
Is a story told through the eyes of Grace, a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Grace’s own difficult past affects her work with Jayden, a gifted but troubled teenage girl new at the facility, and Marcus, an intense, quiet kid who is about to turn 18 and leave the facility. This lovingly realized film finds truth and humor in unexpected places.

To learn more about the 2014 Rethinking Psychiatry Film Festival visit: http://www.rethinkingpsychiatry.org/rethinking-psychiatry-2014-film-festival/

Leg Action Team

Last week, Darin Mancuso was hired to work in the Governor’s Advocacy Office as the Foster Care Ombudsman. This position is intended to fulfill the requirements of Senate Bill 123 passed in the 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly (2013).

The Foster Care Ombudsman position is responsible for establishing and operating a telephone hotline that is available to children in foster care, including in the care of a child-caring agency or an independent residential facility. The Foster Care Ombudsman is also responsible for developing and implementing a fair and confidential process for receiving, investigating and resolving complaints. Foster youth will also be able to call the hotline with questions about their rights, their care and wellbeing, issues with their placement or services received while in foster care.

To learn more about the efforts of the Oregon Foster Youth Connection on the successful passage of SB 123 and of programs around the country working to educate foster youth on their rights visit The Nation. 

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