Office of Children and Family Services

OCFS Youth Advisory Board

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 between the ages of 18 and 24;
  • you are a youth in foster care or a former youth in foster care; and
  • you want to advocate for yourself and others!

The recruitment process is currently closed, but please e-mail if you have any questions.

Board Member Commitments

  • Attend quarterly YAB meetings in the Albany, NY area.
  • Complete monthly assignments related to youth transition.
  • Represent the voices of the youth from your agency or county.
  • Seek out, listen to and respect others’ opinions and experiences.
  • Advocate for yourself and others.

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.

YAB Accomplishments

Foster Care:

  • 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


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