You are invited to express your interest in the
2015 Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Experience in Washington, D.C.
(approximate dates of May 18-21, 2015)! 

About the 2015 Congressional
Foster Youth Shadow Experience

The Shadow Experience 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.  The dates of associated travel and events are Monday, May 18th through Thursday, May 21st, 2015. 
Participating in the Shadow Experience 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. 
Additionally, youth are invited to participate in many activities with policymakers including committee hearings, press events, and meetings. Congressional Shadow Day on May 20 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. 
Before the Shadow Day on May 20, all participants will attend a mandatory two-day Young Leaders Training Academy (May 18 & 19) to prepare for their meetings with policymakers. This training will include an overview of federal foster care policy, practice in strategic sharing, and team building.



Individuals who are eligible to participate meet the following criteria:

  • Will be 18-24 years old on May 20th, 2015 

  • Spent time in an out-of-home placement (foster care, group home, kinship home, etc.) 

  • Have a willingness to play a leadership role for youth and alumni of foster care


Selection Process

The Shadow Experience Interest Form Deadline is March 27, 2015. Forms received by that deadline will be the first considered for placements in the Shadow Experience Program.

Selections are made primarily based on each participant's congressional member interest and availability. Some participants will be matched to congressional members that represent districts where the participant has spent time in foster care.

The Shadow Experience team will begin making selections April 1st and will continue to make selections throughout the month of April. You will be contacted, whether or not you are selected, prior to May 1st. Some selections could be made after May 1st, depending on congressional member availability.

Note: Completing the interest form does not guarantee selection to attend the Young Leaders Training Academy/Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day.

Interested? Click here for the interest form!