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.

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

Youth Leaders

YLAT brings together young people who are currently or formerly in foster care. YLAT youth leaders bring their own leadership potential, strengthen their leadership skills and broaden their network of support. YLAT members show their leadership skills in different ways.

Youth leaders apply their leadership skills through participating in YLAT meetings; speaking in public about foster care; delivering panel presentations for caseworkers, foster parents, Guardians ad Litem, and community members; advocating for youth in care; and informing child welfare policies and legislation. Youth leaders and adult partners give and receive support while taking on these important roles.

YLAT’s youth leaders share their experiences and perspectives that no one else can – because of all they learned from being in care. At the same time, they develop skills and a deeper understanding of themselves and the child welfare system. People are impacted and changed by listening to youth. This generates new ideas for future changes to the child welfare system.

‚Äč

YLAT members are involved in other local and national leadership opportunities and training throughout the year.

Each year outstanding youth leaders are recognized with the Brad Levesque Youth Leadership Award at the Annual Teen Conference.