In New Report, Foster Youth Tell Congress, "Don't Write Us Off"

Aug 02, 2011, 16:29 ET from Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute

Better Policies, Not More Funding, Will Help Most Vulnerable

Psychotropic Drugs, Education and Immigration Top Areas for Reform

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today a group of former foster youth interning on Capitol Hill released a comprehensive report on the system in which they were raised. The Future of Foster Care: A Revolution for Change details the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's (CCAI) Foster Youth Internship (FYI) recommendations on improving hot-button issues ranging from immigration, education, mentoring, psychotropic drugs, child abuse and government accountability. All of the topics reported are those that the youth felt motivated by personal experience to present. The report serves as a blueprint for Members of Congress interested in advancing foster care reform.  The 2011 FYI Report is the fourth in a series from which several previous recommendations are in the process of becoming law.

"The 2011 FYI briefing and report should teach us two simple, but profound lessons," said Kathleen Strottman, executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), "that we are too often failing to provide youth in foster care with the everyday things that ANY child needs to thrive, and more importantly, the children who do receive these supports, have the potential to be our future leaders."

The report's authors delivered compelling highlights of the report to Members of Congress at a briefing last week.  Their main message: "We have potential. Don't let the foster care system write us off." The youth, 15 leaders from across the country who, due to abuse or neglect, spent the majority of their lives in foster care, were interns for Members of Congress this summer including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). Their mission is to speak for the almost 410,000 children still in the foster care system – children who are being left behind.

Please visit CCAI's blog to continue reading some of the Member's and former foster youth's experiences with the FYI program.  For more information about CCAI, please visit  

SOURCE Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute