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DHS News February 2012    

PDF Icon DHS News February 2012

 
Allegheny County FosterClub All-Star Testifies Before Congress

In 2011, two Allegheny County youth (Donald R. and Shaune G.) were among the ten outstanding young people from across the country selected as FosterClub All-Stars.

FosterClub All-Stars is a leadership development and service program for youth, ages 18-24, who spent their formative years in foster care. The All-Stars, who are selected through a rigorous competitive process, participate in a nine-week summer internship at FosterClub’s headquarters in Oregon where they receive training in public speaking, presentation, advocacy and professional development. They spend part of their time on the road helping to plan conferences, presenting at a variety of forums and educating leaders about the foster care system.

Although the residency portion of the program is only nine weeks long, All-Stars advocate for and promote public awareness about foster care and the need for systemic improvement throughout the year. They are also invited to participate in conferences and child welfare events. During the year, one of the Allegheny County All-Stars testified in front of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth; both will appear on a panel for Juvenile Court Justices in April and as panelists at the Commonwealth’s 20th Annual Permanency Conference in Lancaster in July.

FosterClub is a 32,000 member national network for youth currently or previously in foster care. FosterClub provides opportunities for its members to engage with their peers and receive support, skill building and healing opportunities, as well as a mechanism for their voices to be heard in the ongoing dialogue about the foster care system.
In addition to the FosterClub All-Stars program, FosterClub offers a number of activities and resources for foster care youth: the FosterClub website, a place to turn for advice, information and hope; local and statewide Youth Advisory Boards and Youth councils; specialty clubs (Transition Club, Advocacy Club, Events Club and Booster Club); and events such as conferences, workshops and trainings.

Allegheny County first sponsored FosterClub All-Stars in 2010, with one young woman selected from the County. In 2012, Allegheny County will again sponsor two All-Stars.

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