Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFYC), a program of Children First for Oregon (CFFO), is a statewide, youth led, advocacy group of current and former foster youth between 14 – 25 years of age. OFYC is completely youth led, meaning youth members shape every aspect of what OFYC is, how it is structured, which policies to work on, and what activities to participate in. With support from CFFO staff, and training from Foster Youth in Action (FYA), OFYC trains and empowers youth to actively participate in the development of policies, programs, and practices that improve the lives of the thousands of kids in foster care.
Advocacy is action that aims to change laws, policies, practices and even attitudes. Advocacy is usually directed at decision makers who hold the power to implement change. Advocacy can also be directed towards changing public opinion to support an issue or cause, or take a specific action to put pressure on decision makers.
We educate lawmakers, administrators, and the community about the unique issues facing foster youth.| We share youth’s concrete recommendations with the Oregon Department of Human Services, State and Federal Legislators and local citizens. | We network with local, state, and national organizations that are also working to improve foster care.
Activism is the intentional effort to bring about change. Activism can take many forms.
How do OFYC members get Active?
We monitor and respond to policy changes that have an impact on foster youth. | We plan projects that support other foster kids, such as the Annual Duffle Bag Drive and National Foster Care Month Raising Awareness Videos. | We share our stories with professionals and the public, so that they can better understand the experience of foster care, and what they can do to help.
OFYC, with help from the National Foster Youth Action Network, teaches youth the skills they need to communicate effectively, problem solve, and to work on a team in order to have a positive impact on the foster care system.
How do OFYC members Lead?
We participate in committies, taskforces, and advisory councils. | We mentor and support each other through the many transitions that are unique to foster youth.| We stand up so other foster youth know they are not alone.
We are committed to:
Being a statewide voice that represents foster youth from all walks of life. | Teaching all foster youth their rights in the system, and how to preserve them. | Mentoring members to become lifelong leaders within foster care. | Establishing long-term change within the foster care system through better policies, programs, and practices.
Lisa McMahon, OFYC Program Director | firstname.lastname@example.org | 503-236-9754
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