Throughout the year there are current and former foster youth gathering in counties across the state of California. California Youth Connection (CYC) is a youth-led organization that develops leaders who work to transform the foster care system through legislative, policy and practice changes. This group meets to work on systems and policies that uphold the rights of foster youth.
Across the state there are many gatherings, but each year there are two conferences, the Summer Conference and Day at the Capital. The Summer conference is where members meet to be exposed to the CYC culture, work on strategy, develop leaders, and to determine the topic for the next Day at the Capital. Day at the Capital is where the youth storm the capital floor talking to senators and staff pushing for policy change.
We took a large group of former foster youth to the Capitol to feel the strength of this youth led advocacy group, to inspire them to participate and advocate for change. The youth were lobbying for a stability bill, to prevent multiple moves, some youth moving as much as 30 times before adulthood.
Children First was able to bring back the once defunct Tehama Chapter of the CYC. We currently have 11 active members, and since Day the Capitol, 15 youth have been participating regularly.
In Their Words
“I heard so many inspirational motivated young people speaking of hard- ship and overcoming many struggles foster youth are stacked with” -Bella G.
“When I was in foster care many years ago, I did not have CYC. I am happy to see that the youth in foster care now have a voice”
-Former Foster Youth
Children First FFA is a private, non-profit organization in Northern California that is dedicated to helping change lives by providing a safe place for children to heal in a culture of love, acceptance, and consistency.