In Their Own Words: Former Foster Youth Share Insights About Hope and Healing During COVID-19
A working group of young people with experience in the foster care system have published the findings of their research on the experiences of youth in foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telling Our Own Stories: Former Foster Youth Experiences With Barriers And Healing During Covid-19” was entirely youth-led, researched, analyzed, and written by members of the Youth Advisory Board for NCYL’s Reproductive Health Equity Project, with support from NCYL staff.
Unlike traditional research that works to advance assessments and evaluations, this youth-led research and report aims to elevate young voices to influence policies. The report summarizes learnings from testimonies, interviews and listening sessions with people who self-identified as former foster youth. Major recommendations coming from the report include:
- Prioritize mental health resources alongside other major resources such as housing, education, sexual and reproductive health;
- Preserve funding for youth programming and social safety networks, which are vital to helping youth in foster care create and maintain a sense of community and belonging;
- Invest in resources for parenting youth, so that they may continue to parent their children in healthy ways while experiencing upward mobility;
- Increase this humanizing experience both within and outside of the foster care system and organizations that support current and former foster youth.