Youth Advisory Board
The mission of the OCFS Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is to make a difference for youth in care by giving them the voice to help create positive changes in the foster care system. The board is comprised of up to 15 members who provide feedback on their experience in foster care and help shape state policies and initiatives. They are young adults from all around New York State who advise and collaborate with OCFS on policy topics related to foster care as they shape their transition to independence. YAB members have been speakers at venues such as the OCFS Homefinders Summit, the New York Public Welfare Association’s annual conferences, and various speak-out events around the state.
Become A Youth Advisory Board Member
You are eligible if:
- you are 18 or older; and
- you are currently or previously in foster care in New York State
Board Member Commitments
- Maintain your membership for at least one year
- Attend offered trainings about government, leadership and strategic sharing
- Attend YAB virtual or in person meetings in the Albany NY area
- Complete various monthly assignments related to foster care, runaway and homeless, trafficking, LGBTQ+
- Represent youth from your agency or county
- Seek out, listen and respect other's opinion and experiences
- Collaborate with other child welfare partners
Board Member Benefits
- Collaborate with executive staff and key decision makers at OCFS.
- Build relationships and increase your leadership and communication skills.
- Discuss issues that are important to help improve the foster care system!
- Build up your resume.
- HAVE FUN!
- Provided feedback to the questions that are asked to youth during the recertification of foster home process.
- Created a guidance document for caseworkers on face-to-face contacts with youth in care.
- Identified attributes to consider when matching foster children with foster parents.
National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD):
- Reviewed the NYTD survey and provided feedback.
- NYTD Email - Designed an email that can better capture a youth’s attention to increase participation rate.
If you would like to learn more about the Youth Advisory Board, email Heather.Babcock@ocfs.ny.gov.
- Attorney for the Child- Tip sheet for youth
- Bill of Rights- Tip sheet for youth
- What Foster Parents Should Know
- What does a quality caseworker look like?
- Caseworker Guidance
- I Promise
A message that might be displayed in residential settings, group homes, and foster homes to provide a sense of support from adult caregivers to the youth in care.
- Contact Card
An option for youth who need a place to keep important phone numbers.
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- Youth Development
- Youth/Young Adult Services