OCR Celebrates National Foster Youth Voice Month

National Foster Youth Voice Month (NFYVM), created by the Selfless Love Foundation, recognizes that the voices of young people with foster care experience matter. Celebrated each October, NFYVM aims to elevate such voices to spark change across the nation.  

The Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR) enthusiastically answered the Selfless Love Foundation’s call for Colorado stakeholders to celebrate this year, as we feel a particular connection with NFYVM’s mission. OCR provides attorney services to children and youth in over ten case types throughout Colorado. Many of the children/youth represented by OCR attorneys are in foster care or at risk of entering foster care. OCR’s 270+ attorneys advocate tirelessly on behalf of youth clients to give them a voice in legal proceedings. OCR’s Lived Experts Action Panel (LEAP) is integral to OCR’s efforts to elevate youth voice. LEAP is a group of young people with systems experience who partner with OCR to create and improve laws, policies, and OCR attorney practice in ways that benefit children and youth.

During NFYVM, we encourage Colorado Stakeholders to join us in learning directly from young people by using the following strategies, tools, and resources created by LEAP.

Implement the child and youth rights provided by HB22-1038. This groundbreaking law made children parties to their D&N proceedings, provided children the right to attend and fully participate in their D&N hearings, and gave children aged 12 and older client-directed Counsel for Youth (CFY) instead of a best-interests guardian ad litem (GAL).  

Learn about and implement changes important to young people with systems experience.  

Engage and empower youth with systems experience.

Additional tools and resources are available on OCR’s Resources for Professionals.