“Hear Our Voices” letter writing campaign - week 15
June 14, 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:
Throughout my time spent in foster care, I have had many people on my team, or a part of my life who have not listened to the concerns I voiced. It made me feel like I was being deprived of my given rights, or as if my voice had been thrown in a pandora box. Aside from the problem of not listening, adults could try their best to act on my behalf. I do not need a listener, I need a supporter! My best advice to any adult who is trying to help a youth in foster care is to A) Listen B) Advocate and C) Provide resources. I know that my voice is powerful and worth being heard, and that is why I would love to be heard, acknowledged, as well as be taken seriously (anyone voicing concern should have the right to feel this way, and opportunity to do so). Being heard makes me feel empowered because it is the first step to actively participating in change!
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!