Youth Advisory Council
Memories of one's youth should be a collage of happy experiences. Sleepovers. Birthday parties. Hanging out with friends. Prom. First dates.
But for children in foster care, those typical teenage activities often allude them and become unfulfilled dreams. Children who are away from their birth families and their familiar surroundings often believe that their dreams will never be realized. The trauma associated with out-of-home placement is often further complicated by rules, policies and boundaries governing foster care. These rules, designed to keep children safe, are sometimes seen as restrictive and even punitive by children, particularly teenagers, in care.
In an effort to give children in out-of-home care a voice, Children Services offers a youth advisory council, called Youth for Change. The youth advisory council is comprised of young people in foster care or youths who have previously been in foster care who will provide input to the administration, Citizens Advisory Committee and the Board of Franklin County Children Services. The goal of the council is to improve the lives of children in foster care, empower youths in care and give them a voice in decisions that affect their lives.
Applications are now being accepted from youth ages 14-23 who wish to participate in the council. Applications can be obtained from Children Services caseworkers or from Ken Cohen, client rights officer, at 614-275-2621.