Each year CYC holds two statewide conferences: Day at the Capitol and the Summer Leadership and Policy Conference.
Day at the Capitol
Every year, CYC holds a great advocacy and empowerment event, the Day at the Capitol conference! At Day at the Capitol, CYC youth members are trained on the legislative process and have the opportunity to meet with members of the legislature to discuss their ideas for improving the foster care system.
During the first two days of the event, youth attend workshops that prepare them to effectively communicate with legislators. Youth facilitators run the workshops providing members with a deeper understanding of the legislative issues and build excitement and confidence for meeting with legislators. During the last workshop, youth have time to practice what they have learned in their workshops with skilled legislative staff and lobbyists. A special workshop focusing on using the media as an advocacy strategy is also offered to chapter members who have participated in Day at the Capitol before.
On Monday, CYC youth meet with legislators to complete our mission at the Capitol: asking for legislators support of CYC’s bills and ideas. Groups of four to eight youth meet with each legislator and/or a staff person to share what they have learned over the weekend and their own experiences. CYC has become known and respected in the Capitol and meets with almost all of the 120 legislative offices each year.
A CYC delegation also requests to meet with the Governor’s office to educate them on issues in the foster care system. Also on Monday, CYC holds a rally on the steps of the Capitol where we publicize CYC’s legislative issues and express our passion for improving foster care. In addition, members who participated in the media workshop throughout the Day at the Capitol Conference speak at the rally on behalf of CYC.
The Day at the Capitol has been pivotal in the work of CYC. Members’ efforts to educate legislators has been truly effective, as can be seen by all of CYC’s legislative accomplishments!
Summer Leadership and Policy Conference
The Leadership and Policy Conference is a four day long conference during the summer, where CYC youth facilitators train CYC members in leadership skills, including conflict resolution, community organizing, and facilitation skills.
At the summer conference, CYC members identify which are the most pressing issues facing foster youth in California. Members then spend the remainder of the conference brainstorming solutions and developing policy recommendations to address the problems they have identified. On the final day of the conference, CYC members present their recommendations to policy makers, social workers, judges, attorneys, community partners, as well as other allies. These recommendations are published and distributed to child welfare professionals across the country. The recommendations also set CYC’s policy agenda for the following year and one or two of these recommendations become CYC sponsored bills that are brought to the Day at the Capitol Conference.
For more information on CYC conferences, please contact Jude at firstname.lastname@example.org
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