Foster Youth Panel

Older Foster Youth Panel

Presenter: Nathan Ross

Director of Youth Programs MFCAA. Nathan went into the foster care system at the age of 10 after witnessing the murder of two of his brothers by his birth mother. Nathan was in the foster care system with his remaining brother and sister for two years before he was adopted. With the help of a great support team consisting of mentors, teachers, therapists, and his new family, Nathan was able to overcome the early trials of his life and figured out how to best use his story to make a positive impact on children in the foster care system.

Nathan currently runs the youth mentoring program for Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association. As a person who was in foster care and later went on to be adopted, he knows the struggles that children go through in looking for their forever families and hopes to provide support and resources to youth in their times of need by matching them with a support system that will help guide them through various trials while allowing for self-discovery.

Thousands of children every year are failed by the foster care system and their family connections. These children age out of the system between the ages of 18 and 21 having achieved no permanent family connections. They are catapulted into the world without the support systems of safe friends and family and have to fend for themselves. 

What can we do as providers/ professionals within this system to assure that children reach safe, permanent connections so that they can lead productive lives? In this presentation, we are asking the children who are within this system of care what they think might improve the outcomes of children in care. They will share their individual stories and will discuss what they would like to see from their foster care case managers, from their foster parents, and from their guardians ad litem to work toward more successful outcomes.


Content—Model presentation, question and answer, strategic planning

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