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2013 is less than a month away, and with it will come many opportunities and challenges in our year-round work to build a world-class foster care system.

Before we get there, we want to remind everyone of the progress we made together in 2012. Over the remaining weeks of the year we will feature progress achieved across the agency with the help of our partners, supporters and community leaders.

Growth of the Mockingbird Youth Network

FFCA Group

In December 2012, youth from the MYN joined youth from Facing Foster Care in Alaska for an all-weekend conference.

The Mockingbird Youth Network, our innovative state-wide coalition of youth impacted by foster care and homelessness, has had an unforgettable 2012. Our Network Chapters engaged 392 youth from across the state, providing opportunities for civic engagement, individual development and system reform inspired by their experiences with foster care and homelessness. Our trainings helped 225 youth develop as individuals, advocates and leaders in 2012, not including the 133 youth who experienced our new Transitions training. This innovative curriculum helps youth prepare and work through important life transitions, specifically those experienced while in foster care.

Finally, in February, over 240 youth, alumni and community members gathered in Olympia to advocate their elected leaders at Youth Advocacy Day. The day culminated with all 240 advocates packed the Galleries of the House of Representatives to witness their priority bill, Extended Foster Care, pass by an 88 to 9 vote! As if this was not enough, the Members of the House then officially recognized our young leaders with a standing ovation!!! Sound too amazing to be true? Check out the video here!

The Network also built partnerships across the country, joining the National Foster Youth Action Network and participating in a Technical Assistance Summit with Facing Foster Care in Alaska. These new relationships will raise the voice of our youth to even greater heights!

After an amazing 2012, the Mockingbird Youth Network is poised for an even better 2013. Find out more about this amazing program and how you can get involved here.