“Hear Our Voices” letter writing campaign - week ten
April 12, 2019
Over 100 letters have been collected by project Foster Power to create the “Hear Our Voices” letter display and educate professionals and others with decision-making power about the importance of foster youth voice.
To help amplify youth voice, project Foster Power is partnering with the CO4Kids campaign and CDHS to post one letter a week on the CO4Kids Campaign child welfare blog through the end of May - Foster Care Awareness Month.
This week's letter reads:
During my time in care I was listened to because I forced people to listen to me. The force in being heard was both empowering and painful. It hurt me that you didn’t just listen because it was my life. My world. My family that was being torn apart. You empowered me by forcing me to force you, because I discovered my own power, and I uncovered the true meaning of perseverance. So thank you for making me stronger, and thank you for making me loud, because today I am doing better than you ever thought I would be doing. But, for future reference, I have a few things for you to remember. It’s my life. My voice not only matters, but it’s powerful. Foster kids are people too, we need patience, empathy, and at least one person believing in us NO MATTER WHAT, just like you do. Just because I was full of anger, just because I was stubborn, doesn’t mean I wasn’t broken and scared. If you could have listened a little more and told a little less maybe I could have trusted and been honest a lot sooner. I matter, we all matter, and now that I’ve grown up a little bit, I see that you matter too.
From, A Young Person Who Matters
Ways to support youth voice
Spread the word about our Foster Youth Rights document - created by and for youth – taking Colorado statutes/rules and translating them into youth-friendly language. Distribute these far and wide!!
Follow the best practice recommendations developed by our members to instruct professionals on how to talk with youth about these rights. Feel free to share with colleagues. Invite our youth to train your organizations directly on this work!
Invite project Foster Power to train the youth you serve directly on their rights! Youth rights are only effective if young people know about them! We have been taking our Youth Rights training on the road and recently worked with youth in Adams and Jefferson counties. Usually, these youth trainings are about an hour. Let us know if there may be opportunities to meet with youth in your community.
Display "Hear Our Voices" letters in at your office! These letters have been displayed at public libraries, coffee shops, CASA offices, child welfare training centers, and counties offices. If your organization would like to host the “Hear Our Voices” letter display at your organization or want to learn more about the work of project Foster Power, please email email@example.com.
About the author:
Betsy Fordyce, Esq. is the director of the youth empowerment and legal advocacy program at the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center, a CO4Kids Campaign Partner. In addition to her work in child welfare policy, she supports a youth-led, peer-driven, grassroots group of current and former foster youth who are seeking to improve the foster care system through youth organizing, advocacy, education and leadership development.
Over 100 letters have been collected by project Foster Power to create the “Hear Our Voices” letter display and educate professionals and others with decision-making power about the importance of foster youth voice. Read the #COHearOurVoices series of letters, selected by project Foster Power, to be highlighted for professionals and others with decision-making power beginning next week!