For the past 6 years, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth has hosted a Shadow Day on Capitol Hill in coordination with the month of May as Foster Care Month. Youth in foster care and alumni of foster care ages 18-30 are invited to Washington, D.C. The participants are paired with their Members of Congress for a day. The youth spend almost a week in Washington to gain a better understanding of the role of Congress while hopefully educating members on the struggles and challenges they have faced in their young lives.
Sponsors and supporters of Shadow Day 2018, led by Congressperson Karen Bass (D-CA) felt this year’s event (just before the Memorial Day break) was a terrific success with more than 100 current and former foster youth spending time on Capitol Hill with their Member of Congress.
You can read more about the event in Roll Call (Foster Youth Come to Capitol Hill, Share Experiences in the System). I also wanted to flag an op-ed written by Tanisha Saunders, a participant in 2017 who came back to participate in the program again this year as an organizer. Her story is a powerful one, I think you’ll find it enlightening. I have it pasted below.