Advocacy

During the past several years, YWP staff has delivered numerous testimonies during both the performance and budget oversight hearing for CFSA, the Department of Health and Human services, the Committee on Education in addition to others. The testimonies covered issuess impacting both youth in foster care and those experiencing homelessness which include but are not limited to transportation, increasing ILP stipends, aftercare services, youth shelters and transitional housing programs.

These testimonies have produced results for the individual youth – as Committee Chairs Yvette Alexander, David Grosso, and Vincent Orange have connected our team to city resources and continued to support and look into ways to resolve the systematic issues brought to them during testimony.

YWP has established its self as a relinting force within the youth advocacy scene in DC and former Committee Chair Jim Graham called the testimony “brilliant” and YWP a “driving force for change.”

The testimony of our youth staff can be viewed at:

1)  Committee on Human Services, Performance Oversight Hearing for Child and Family Services on 2.26.13  http://dc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=11&clip_id=1717 YWP youth testimony begins at 2:31:37; and

2) Committee on Human Services, Budget Oversight Hearing for CFSAon 4.24.13   http://dc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=11&clip_id=1614    YWP youth testimony begins at 2:21:34

The hard work and effectiveness our FCC youth staff, who used their personal experience and hardships to surface and personalize these issues, along with a strong foundation of relationships and research resulted in laws and policies that will forever change the rights and opportunities that DC youth can access.
 
·         We developed and secured the passage of the Foster Youth Transit Subsidy which will provide subsidized transportation to 400 foster youth ages 19 and 20. The law was reintroduced and passed in 12.2012; 
·         We successfully advocated for the development of a Youth Bill of Rights for foster youth (called the Foster Youth Rights and Responsibilities Amendment Act of 2012) which was signed into law on 1.22.13;
·         We successfully advocated to establish a $1,464 a year clothing voucher system, a $100 monthly allowance, and an increase in the Independent Living program stipends for youth in the DC Foster care which will be implemented starting in 9.2013;
·         We successfully advocated for a Foster Youth Employment program including subsidized training, internships, job placement. (CM Graham designated $1 million with $800,000 for youth stipends.)