Youth participation in policy advocacy: Examination of a multi-state former and current foster care youth coalition

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Abstract

In recent years, U.S. state and federal legislation reflect a deepening recognition of the need to engage youth in decision-making as a mechanism to enhance child welfare policy and practice. This study examined stakeholder views on the key elements and challenges of youth participation in policy advocacy in the context of a multi-state current and former foster care youth coalition. Data collection included semi-structured interviews, focus groups, observations, and document review. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Key elements included a youth-adult partnership model, relationships and networking, having a voice and feeling heard, collective power, and reciprocity among states. Challenges included recruitment, attendance and retention of youth, staff workload issues, and the bureaucracy of child welfare. Findings are discussed in the context of the extent literature.

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Augsberger, A., Springwater, J. S., Hilliard-Koshinsky, G., Barber, K., & Martinez, L. S. (2019). Youth participation in policy advocacy: Examination of a multi-state former and current foster care youth coalition. Children and Youth Services Review, 107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104491

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