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What Does OFYC Do?
Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFYC), a program of Children First for Oregon (CFFO), is a statewide, youth-led, advocacy group of current and former foster youth between 14 – 25 years of age. OFYC is completely youth led, meaning youth members shape every aspect of what OFYC is, how it is structured, which policies to work on, and what activities to participate in. With support from CFFO staff, and training from Foster Youth in Action (FYA), OFYC trains and empowers youth to actively participate in the development of policies, programs, and practices that improve the lives of the thousands of kids in foster care.
Why was OFYC created?
Advocacy is the action that aims to change laws, policies, practices and even attitudes. Advocacy is usually directed at decision-makers who hold the power to implement change. Advocacy can also be directed towards changing public opinion to support an issue or cause, or take a specific action to put pressure on decision makers.
Who Can Be A Member?
There are three different ways you can be involved with the Oregon Foster Youth Connection. If you are a current or former foster youth between the ages of 14 and 25, you can be a Member. If you are a former foster youth over 25 years of age, or are a child welfare professional, you can be an Advisor. If you are not a former foster youth or a child welfare professional, you can be a Community Supporter.
What Is The Advisory Committee?
As a Community Supporter to OFYC, you are asked to support and encourage the member’s goals while at the same time not taking over. This can be a difficult task but it is core to the mission of OFYC that it be youth-led and youth-driven. As a Community Supporter, you are encouraged to ask questions that will inspire youth to think in new ways and consider all of the available options. No ideas are bad ideas in OFYC. Even if you think the idea is completely outrageous, be a good listener and help members think through the creative process. There will be failures, but that is part of this process. Community Supporters do not hold voting privileges. Community Supporters will: