More than 200 attendees convened virtually for the Mockingbird Society's annual Youth Advocacy Day, including First Lady Trudi Inslee. The Mockingbird Society is a statewide coalition that brings together young people with lived experience in the child welfare system or with homelessness. Every year, Mockingbird young people identify ideas for reform on these topics and develop them into a legislative agenda. The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and other stakeholders provide support throughout Mockingbird’s advocacy cycle as the young people develop their proposals.
This year, Mockingbird young adults proposed the following to legislators:
- Legal representation for all children and youth in foster care in Washington State – HB 1219.
- A budget proviso for DCYF to implement an improved transition planning process for youth transitioning from foster care and juvenile rehabilitation and to identify how to better support youth who have exited Extended Foster Care at age 21 through independent living or other programs.
- A budget proviso for DCYF and other agencies to address service gaps and barriers for Native American youth, a population that is disproportionately impacted by homelessness and foster care.
For more information on the Mockingbird Society or the annual Youth Advocacy Day, visit www.mockingbirdsociety.org.