Youth who have experienced foster care have valuable knowledge about child welfare. Youth advisory boards and councils, which are generally operated under the auspices of the State or local agency, engage young people currently or formerly in out-of-home care in examining practices and policies that affect the lives of children and youth in care. The boards play a unique role in advocating for the improvement of services for youth in foster care. The following resources provide information about and examples of effective youth advisory boards, including state and local examples.
Getting Your Youth Advisory Group From Here to There (PDF - 318 KB)
Texas Workforce Commission Youth Program Initiative (2012) Provides youth and professionals with information on how to form and structure an advisory group as well as how to plan effectively, task members, and evaluate youth advisory group performance.
National Foster Youth Advisory Council
Child Welfare League of America
Comprising current and former foster youth, the council informs the field about the strengths and needs of youth in the foster care system and develops strategic alliances to improve the system of supports and services in the areas of positive youth development, independent living, transition supports, and youth involvement.
Realizing the Power of Youth and Young Adult Voice Through Youth Leadership Boards
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2014)
Explores the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative’s experience in developing and implementing youth leadership boards. The issue brief includes the perspectives of young people in foster care and the adults engaged with them.
Independent Living PA Youth Advisory Board
Describes Pennsylvania’s Independent Living Youth Advisory Board, which comprises current and former substitute care youth ages 16-21. The board works to educate, advocate, and form partnerships to create positive change in the substitute care system.
What is Youth Leadership?
Provides examples of youth leadership opportunities for members for California’s Youth Connection including chairing and participating on Youth Advisory Board and Legislative Committee.
Youth Advisory Boards
Oregon Foster Youth Connection
Seeks to improve the foster care in the State of Oregon through advocacy, activism, and leadership.
Youth in Progress
Describes Youth in Progress, a New York State program that empowers foster youth (ages 14-21) to advocate for greater awareness of the needs of youth in care and improved services for youth transitioning out of foster care
Youth Leadership Advisory Team
Describes a coalition of foster care and adult partners who are working to improve outcomes for all youth in foster care by creating opportunities and promoting youth engagement in decisions about their lives.