The Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program
The Shadow Program is an all-expenses paid opportunity for young people with personal experience in the foster care system to spend time with their Congressional representative, as well as White House officials in Washington, D.C.
Participating in the Shadow Program allows youth and policymakers to meet and learn from one another. Young people in and from foster care will be able to speak to and learn about Congress and the White House while gaining a “hands-on” understanding about how the U.S. government operates on a daily basis. Members of Congress are able to listen to the stories of young people and gain a well-rounded understanding of the experiences of youth in foster care, which will help them as they pursue policies that impact all foster youth.
The Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program consists of a two-day Young Leaders Training Academy to prepare participants for their meetings with policymakers. This training will include an overview of federal foster care policy, practice in strategic sharing, and team building. The Shadow Program concludes with #DCShadowDay where participants shadow a Congressional Member from their district. Youth are often invited to participate in many activities with policymakers including committee hearings, press events, and meetings.
Congressional Shadow Program offers young people and Congressional Members the opportunity to work together to improve the foster care system for the benefit of those that are or may have been system involved.