15 Dec Youth Voice and Advocacy
Artwork by [email protected]
Taylor is a young adult who is artistic, a hard worker, a loyal friend, and who has a wonderful, biting sense of humor. She sees clearly how systems should work and doesn’t accept less, advocating and inspiring service providers to do more for her and others. TeamChild worked with Taylor in her early adolescence when she lived with her family and again later when she was in foster care.
TeamChild worked with Taylor on several matters. As she says it, “TeamChild helped me with anything and everything, including with my family, mentally wise, and school changes.” When asked what she feels like we accomplished together, she focused on school. Taylor said, “Because of TeamChild, I got an education. Well, I never fully got an education because of moving around with foster care, but I got as much of an education as I did because of our work. TeamChild helped different doors open.” Taylor is finishing her high school diploma now, and she has promised to show it to the judges she appeared in front of in her dependency foster care case.
When asked what it meant to work with TeamChild, Taylor said, “I gained somebody that wasn’t just another worker. Not a friend, but someone who connected with me more, who made me feel better and safer. Someone who understood more about the problems I had and who went above and beyond to work with me on my terms and find resolutions.”
Taylor would like to see a lot of things change with foster care, juvenile court, and education systems. Mostly she wants people working in any kind of setting to take time to notice more. Taylor mentioned that she still remembers individuals who checked in with her about even the simplest things, like whether she wanted a glass of water while she sat in a state office, waiting for placement, not knowing where she would go that night. Taylor is grateful for legislative changes that stop the use of detention as placement for kids in dependencies who run away. But she really wants to challenge systems and service providers and workers to ask whether they would want their own kids to go through what she and others do and, if not, then don’t accept it for them either.
Your support is critical to upholding the rights of young people like Taylor. Join us in pursuing a vision of power and unconditional belonging for Washington’s youth—a future in which all young people have a voice and can achieve their goals.