Foster youth from the group Oregon Foster Youth Connection have released a series of policy recommendations to lawmakers for the 2021 session. Past OFYC recommendations for the troubled foster care system have been approved in prior legislative sessions, including tuition waivers for foster youth in community colleges or state universities, a Foster Child Bill of Rights and access to ongoing extracurricular activities. The latest recommendations include ways to remove bias in the foster care system, providing universal access to trauma-informed mental health resources, and a major change in the way decisions are made to remove a child from their biological family in the first place. We talk with Kathleen Rodriguez Perez and Hannah Royal, who each entered the foster care system when they were 14 and helped draft the recommendations.
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