If you received over 100 emails on the same subject, would you listen?

January 18, 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.

project Foster Power is a group of young people ages 15 to 25+ who are working to improve the Colorado child welfare system through youth-led organizing and advocacy. In 2018, the group, all of whom are currently involved in the system or have recently experienced foster care in Colorado, hosted a Letter Tour to further the “Youth Voice, Youth Choice” Campaign and gather other young people's thoughts. 

In these letters, youth describe either a time when their voices were heard and why that mattered or a time when adults failed to listen and how they might improve in the future. So far, these letters have been displayed at public libraries, coffee shops, CASA offices and universities. Right now, the display is at the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Child Welfare Training System Metro Regional Training Center as an inspiring reminder for countless professionals trained at that location.

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.  Every blog post is emailed by CDHS to more than 15,000 professional each week through the CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families Community Announcements newsletter. 

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 projectfosterpower@childlawcenter.org.

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. 

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!

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