Youth Voices in Advocacy


Learn the basics of development, promotion and maintenance of public speaking team(s) of adopted/foster youth. Engaging youth and young adults in such a “team” provides an increased sense of belonging while simultaneously giving young people the skills to advocate for themselves and others. Based upon the principles of positive youth development, advocacy teams are highly effective in creating a supportive community for youth, raising public awareness, guiding improvements in practice and promoting system change. Through the Community Champions Network post-adoption program, teams have been launched in a number of sites over the past two years – could yours be next?

Content—Model presentation, question and answer, strategic planning

Intended audience—Mixed audience is best – parents, youth and child welfare professionals.

Presenter: Kim Stevens

Professional experience includes eight years with Massachusetts Families for Kids. Kim moved from part-time Family Advocacy Coordinator to Co-Director of MFFK.  While at MFFK, she established the Speak Out Team, a nationally recognized model for foster/adopted youth advocacy and awareness-raising. She also launched the Lifelong Families for Adolescents initiative with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services and assisted in successful advocacy for post-adoption services in Massachusetts. 

Kim works at North American Council on Adoptable Children as project manager for the Jockey Being Family™ funded Community Champions Network. CCN partners with communities throughout the US and Canada to establish effective, accessible and affordable community-based post adoption support services. Kim also provides training and consultation on foster care, adoption and youth permanency issues.

She and her husband, Buddy have six children, four of whom were adopted from the public foster care system.