California Youth Connection
What is it?
Connection (CYC) is a non-profit advocacy/youth leadership
organization for current and former foster youth ages 14-24, who
because of their experience with the child welfare system, now work
to improve the foster care system in California. CYC was founded on
the principle that policy makers and administrators can benefit from
the input of youth that have experienced first-hand the impact of
foster care policies and social work practice.
How do I get involved?
organization can use youth that have any ideas regarding improving
foster care. Currently San Joaquin County is not a certified
chapter. There was a chapter in the past; however without the active
participation and a commitment on the part of the youth, we were
unable to sustain a chapter and we were de-certified. It would be
possible to have the chapter reinstated in the future if there is
enough youth participation in this county. Currently the Office of
Education is working to restore some youth interest in becoming a
chapter again. If you are interested in becoming a future CYC member
you may contact Lonita Cordova at (209) 468-4815 to get more
information about meetings and times that will eventually be
established. Here is the CYC website: www.calyouthconn.org
What type of activities does CYC
CYC hosts two
conferences each year that are organized by the chapters. These take
place all over the State and are centered around building leadership
skills and working on legislation that will eventually be taken
forward to the Day at the Capitol.
The "Day at
the Capitol" takes place usually in the end of January or beginning
of February. The youth spend Saturday and Sunday preparing for
Mondays presentations to legislators. Issues brought forward to the
legislators have been decided in advance by the chapters and involve
things such as working to pass better regulations for youth in group
homes, passing bills that support current and former foster youth in
their rights and independence as well as increasing funding in
The youths also speak at public
events and to different organizations to raise awareness about CYC
youth issues and to recruit new members.
Why should I get involved?
You have a voice and it needs to
be heard. CYC is a great forum to discuss any ideas you have about
foster care, good and bad. Those ideas could possibly turn into
major pieces of legislation and laws for other foster youth that
will follow in your footsteps. Sometimes you may feel like you dont
have much control of your situation or you want to help out other
children like yourself. Well this is the perfect setting to take
action and have your ideas and concerns addressed constructively. Go
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