Youth Leadership Advisory Team (YLAT)

YLAT is a joint project between Maine’s Youth in Foster Care, The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and the Muskie School at University of Southern Maine. YLAT is committed to improving the short-term and long-term outcomes for youth who are or have been in foster care.

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YLAT, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, PO Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300, phone: 207-780-5861

Friend of Youth in Care Award

Each year the award is presented to a caring adult who has exhibited leadership on behalf of youth in foster care. Youth in foster care face many challenges. Caring adults can assist youth who are facing these challenges by providing support, advocacy and friendship. Additionally, there are those people who come up with creative solutions to make the system better for all youth in care. They deserve our thanks.


The Friend of Youth in Care Award will go to those adults who are willing to:


  1. Make a commitment to youth in care

  2. Advocate for youth in care

  3. Be leaders on behalf of youth in care

  4. Be a positive role model for youth in care

Friend of Youth in Care Awardees
2016: A Place Called H.O.M.E.

A Place Called H.O.M.E., founded by Janalee Moquin is a statewide organization to help young people who are aging out or who have aged out of Maine’s foster care system. A Place Called H.O.M.E. helps young people get connected to resources that can help them with financial and community support. Janalee is involved with several other programs aimed at helping young people who have experienced the foster care system, including Josh’s College Care Packages, Babci’s Sacks of Love and the Happy Birthday Initiative. She even started the Festival of Fostering Trees and has been able to extend these services to the statewide level in the past year.

Janalee believes that anything is possible. It is this belief that energizes Janalee to be a source of inspiration, motivation and support for young people who are or were in foster care. She believes that with a community-oriented approach, young people will find success. Because of her vigorous efforts, and positive attitude, Janalee has been able to inspire hope for young people during times of transition and uncertainty, letting them know that they are not alone, someone cares, and that there is help for them. Janlee inspires young people to dream big. As one person said: “She is a light in the storm for those feeling lost at sea.”

2015: Jobs for Maine’s Graduates

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG) is a statewide program that is committed to teaching youth real life skills. These skills are developed through trainings, resources, and activities in over 75 schools that help students prepare for life after high school. In their 21 year history, JMG has helped almost 30,000 Maine high school and middle school students develop an understanding of different responsibilities focusing on life skills, career opportunities, and individual successes. JMG has developed strong partnerships with local businesses throughout Maine. These businesses offer inside information and opportunities for students to gain career knowledge and experiences.

Financial literacy is a key part of their programming and has benefited so many youth. Since 2004, the Opportunity Passport™ program has helped young people in foster care meet their financial goals with a combination of youth savings and matched funds close to ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Youth in foster care between the ages of 14 and 26 years old are eligible to participate and can earn up to $1,000 of matched savings every year towards assets such as: educational items, housing needs, vehicles, and other financial investments.

Past FYIC Award Recipients::


2014: Representative Seth Berry & Senator Gratwick
2013: Laurie Davis
2012: Job’s for Maine’s Graduates
2011: Dianna Walters
2010: William R. Bradford, II
2009: Bette Hoxie
2008: James Siragousa
2007: Bobby Strauss
2006: Lucky Hollander, Susan Verrill, Susan Kimball, Linda Guiggey
2005: Heidi Krieger
2004: Marty Zanghi & the Maine Legislative Youth Council
2003: Karen Westburg & Maddy Thibeault
2002: Hugh Sipowicz & Sonya Gerry
2001: Bill Dickenson
2000: Representative Michael Brennan