Yesterday a group of Native youth attended a White House event titled “Improving Outcomes for Our Nation’s Foster Youth” in Washington DC. The youth had an opportunity to hear remarks from Vice President Biden, meet several celebrities, and network with fellow inspiring youth from around the country. Several of the Native youth also had a significant meeting with two of President’s Cabinet members — Secretary Sally Jewell and Secretary Arne Duncan.
The participation of Native youth and foster parents from Indian Country was made possible by the Center for Native American Youth, National Indian Child Welfare Association, and especially, Casey Family Programs who funded much of the youth travel. The organizations worked together to ensure the unique Native youth needs and perspectives were made a priority.
On any given day, there are over 400,000 young people in our nation’s foster care system with over 100,000 waiting to be adopted. Monday’s event highlighted new steps that the Administration and its partners are taking to help support the foster youth in our nation’s care. The event hosted current foster youth and foster care alumni from around the country, including Native American youth, and culminated in an appearance of cast members and filmmakers of the new Annie and a screening of the film.
We have heard from youth and tribal leaders that it was an amazing event and they had an incredible time!