Foster Care Campaign
Since 1999, the Foster Care Campaign has been building the power of foster youth in Washington, DC.
FCC is a youth leadership development program designed to train foster youth and their teen allies as advocates and social justice leaders. FCC is led by low-income youth and youth of color staff, the majority of whom are in the foster system. FCC staff members work as part of a team to educate their peers and push for system reform. They take on a range of projects including public speaking, organizing events, conducting workshops in group homes, and developing materials to help foster youth access resources and knowledge.
Work & Accomplishments
FCC's work is guided by three long-term outcomes:
1) Increase the leadership capacity and civic engagement of foster youth;
2) Develop the independence, life skills, and well-being of foster youth so that they can successfully transition out of care; and
3) Transform the D.C. foster care system so that it is meeting positive youth development outcomes.
Working with the Deputy Mayor’s office, FCC helped write and successfully advocated for foster care group home regulations, which became law in September 2001. These regulations created a legal floor for improving the quality of life and enforcing the rights of teens in group homes. Since then, we’ve been working to get the regulations implemented: testifying before the DC Council on Human Services, educating funders and other advocates about group home conditions, and advocating with CFSA.
FCC has trained more than 300 foster youth on life skills and rights through teen-led group home trainings and Leadership Institutes.
FCC teens have written Taking Matters into Our Own Hands, a survival guide for DC youth in care, providing information on rights, regulations, and how to navigate the system. The guide includes articles on the court system, social workers, monitors, group homes, judges, educational and vocational opportunities, laws and organizations that work in the child welfare system, foster parents, adoption, and more. Written by and for youth in care, this 75-page publication was compiled through reports, newspaper articles, and interviews.
FCC teen staff have delivered several testimonies before the Committee on Human Service regarding the public oversight of Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). We participated in the CFSA Advisory Board on older youth, issuing several recommendations to CFSA for improving group home monitoring; increasing youth involvement in group home monitoring; and increasing leadership and rights training for foster youth.
FCC worked with the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) to conduct focus groups in 13 group homes and collected surveys to document teen needs and experiences and serve as baseline data to measure the impact of regulations. The data was included in CSSP's report Foster Care Group Homes in the District of Columbia, June 2001.
How to get involved:
FCC teen staff are paid $8.25-10.00 an hour and work 6-8 hours a week during the school year and 30 hours a week during the summer.
If you are a teen or young adult interested in learning more about, or joining, the Foster Care Campaign, please view our recruitment materials below and contact Felicia Ramos, Senior Manager of Foster Care Campaign & Youth Staff Development , with questions at felicia@young or 202-332-3399, ext. 111.womensproject.org