Courtney Canova, 25, Washington’s foster care system

Courtney entered care at 7 and after failed reunification, foster homes, crisis residential centers, kinship, suitable other, job Corp and homelessness she aged out at 18. 

At 16 she learned about the Mockingbird society and started her path into advocacy. As a Mockingbird society chapter leader, She became affiliated with multiple stakeholders and participated in trainings for social workers, service providers, judicial officers, elected officials, and advocates. Courtney is very much involved in her community as a P2A board member 2012-2018, CWAC voting member since 2016, WSPAC member since 2017, proposed mockingbird society board member 2018, FIN keynote speaker, CASA keynote speaker, Safety Net keynote, Embrace WA fundraising, OPD and UDUB court improvement training academy Co-facilitator, coordinated care Co-facilitator , legislative workgroup member. She is passionate about her coalition memberships and her work in bringing more preventive and reunification services to Washington.

Courtney is finishing up her graduate degree in communications and leadership from Gonzaga University and is passionate about child welfare as her siblings are still in care. When she is not advocating, she is spending time outdoors or playing Mario with her two young boys. She plans to launch follow the child initiative and be successful at her current employment position as director of community engagement with Casey Family, DCYF and Boys, and Girls of King County.

Courtney’s lifetime goal is to own a small restaurant and participates in her local nonprofit community. She would love to hold a fundraiser event of her own to help foster alumni with employment skills.

“If it wasn’t for community support and the advocates before me, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to come out of survival mode and discover who I was and who I wanted to be. I owe it to them to pay it forward.”