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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.