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shadow day

Inaugural L.A. Foster Youth Shadow Day in Los Angeles Secures Policy Advancements

En Español


LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council held the inaugural Los Angeles Foster Youth Shadow Day this week. The program connects former foster youth with local leaders to present policy recommendations based on firsthand experience living in the child welfare system. Based on specific feedback from delegates during the program, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger will introduce a motion to remove barriers for foster youth who have aged out of foster care in need of housing vouchers, increase their use of housing navigation services, and prioritize childcare for foster youth who are parents.

“Former and current foster youth brought their personal stories to City Hall and the County Hall of Administration to help inform public policies that will improve the child welfare system in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Bass. “Even though we don’t govern child welfare, we still impact their lives with the policy that we make in City Hall. Thank you to the Board of Supervisors and the City leaders who participated in the inaugural Shadow Day to learn from the delegates and share your experiences as elected leaders.”

While in Congress, Mayor Bass founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, which has hosted Foster Youth Shadow Day for more than 100 former foster youth since 2012. This year, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth will be hosting their 11th annual congressional shadow day on June 13, 2024.

“The most recent census of our County’s unhoused population found that approximately 50% of youth leaving foster care will experience homelessness or housing instability, which is simply unacceptable,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The stories foster youth shared with me during Youth Shadow Day really drove that point home. My motion will work to bring them more stability. These young people deserve our continued support.”   

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council both issued proclamations in honor of National Foster Care Month and Shadow Day. Delegates were paired with City leaders who they shadowed during the afternoon. Delegates also participated in a policy roundtable with Mayor Bass, the Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles County department leaders, and other City leaders where they presented policy proposals to improve crucial topics including housing, mental health, justice and resources for parents. Photos and b-roll will be available here

On Monday, delegates participated in a conference day, engaging in workshops on community organization and developing their skills to engage decision-makers, connect with other community organizations working on shared policy areas and learn more about key issues, and connect with other community leaders with lived experience and expertise.