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 During this season of reflection and planning for the work of 2018, I am thrilled to share our 2018 Advocacy Agenda with you! Our agenda has been endorsed by Mockingbird’s statewide youth leadership council and our Board of Directors.

Our 2018 Advocacy Agenda includes these exciting priorities:

Strengthening Extended Foster Care: We are working with partners at Columbia Legal Services, A Way Home Washington, and Partners for Our Children on a legislative proposal to clean up eligibility rules to ensure that all youth who could benefit from EFC are able to enroll in this opportunity. The proposal would allow youth to opt in to age 21, and would include youth who are in a juvenile justice facility on their 18th birthday .

Expanding Passport to College Eligibility: This proposal would expand Passport scholarship eligibility for youth in Tribal foster care, federal foster care, and youth in the Interstate Compact. This is linked to work that the Washington Student Achievement Council and others are doing to expand college access overall for youth in foster care.

Ending Youth Detention for Status Offenses: This legislative proposal aims to reduce county-by-county disparities in Washington state, moving toward the goal of ending the practice of detaining minors for status offenses such as truancy and running away.

View our full list of 2018 Advocacy Priorities.

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We'd love to have you join us in advocating for this agenda at our Annual Youth Advocacy Day in Olympia on January 26th, 2018. Please register today!

Sign up for regular advocacy updates on our progress from Liz Trautman, our Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, and be sure to check out this video featuring Mockingbird’s youth advocates speaking about their work at our Leadership Summit.

Thank you for your amazing support as we work alongside young people to improve foster care and end youth homelessness. We couldn't do it without you!