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 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!

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.

Contact

If you would like to learn more about the Youth Advisory Board, email Heather.Babcock@ocfs.ny.gov.

Resources

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