Foster youth in the child welfare system face extreme challenges, both while in care and after they “age-out.” Inadequate education, limited access to healthcare, and homelessness top the list. Each year, more than 23,000 youth in the U.S. “age out” of foster care without a permanent family or a supportive network of caring adults. This panel will focus on kids who aged out of the foster care system and those who have been incarcerated and how as a society we can help.
The Turning Points for Children, Juvenile Law Center, PHMC and The Monkey & The Elephant (Café) are partnering to co-host the panel that will invite attendees to participate in a social exercise from the perspective a foster youth before the speakers begin.
The panel will be moderated by award-winning journalist Solomon Jones, host of “Wake up with WURD” on 900 AM WURD radio and includes Kevin Harden, Jr. an attorney at the law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott and President of the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia; Naje Taylor a young adult who aged out of the foster care system and is a former employee and graduate of The Monkey & Elephant; Marcia Hopkins, an alumni of the foster care system was recently a Programs Coordinator with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in D.C. and is now the Youth Advocacy Program Manager at the Juvenile Law Center; Liz Wendel a board member of the The Monkey & The Elephant and Assistant Director of the Family Finding program at Turning Points for Children; and Whiquitta Tobar, attorney and current Zubrow Fellow at Juvenile Law Center.
The panel discussion will feature youth and speakers who work with and/or have experience in foster care. New laws, procedures and policies are starting to make a difference, but there is still much to do to help these young people succeed. Event attendees are encouraged to share their ideas for solutions.
Beer and wine will be served. Proceeds from this event will be shared by each co-host to support their work on behalf of youth in the child welfare system.