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Youth Fostering Change
Uplifting Youth Voice in Dependency Court

March 27, 2018, 10:00-11:00 am
Download Handouts (.ZIP file)

Youth Fostering Change, a project at the Juvenile Law Center offers youth who are currently or formerly involved in the child welfare system the opportunity to evaluate the system and implement a campaign for reform. Each year, Youth Fostering Change youth advocates select a reform issue, develop a strategy to address it, and implement their project by bringing it to local, state, or federal stakeholders. Last year, Youth Fostering Change began to focus their campaign efforts on empowering youth in dependency court, specifically by removing barriers to their attendance and active participation. Pennsylvania law requires all youth in foster care to attend regular court hearings, but many of our youth advocates identified having very different experiences in court. Youth Fostering Change advocates have reflected on how not attending or participating in their own hearings caused major disruptions in their housing and education, and how confusing and intimidating court hearings were, in the rare event they were encouraged to go. As a result, major decisions were made about young people’s lives without either their presence or input.


  • Youth Fostering Change

A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.