Foster Care Advocacy
YE4C’s first editorial board was in place from February to June 2020. The group was made up of 10 young people from around the country. They helped organize and improve content for the YE4C website. They also created content for YE4C and gave feedback to federal agencies. We invited each editorial board member to reflect on their time with the editorial board and to tell us more about themselves and their hopes for the future.
Today’s Inspiring Story follows Laticia Aossey. She is 24 years old and lives in Iowa. She is passionate about the foster care system and hopes to enact policy change on the federal level in the future.
Tell us about your time on the YE4C Editorial Board.
I was nominated for the editorial board by someone I had worked with on foster care advocacy work. I was interested in the position, so I applied. During my time on the board, I helped create and review content. I’ve learned a lot about being an editor and making sure shared resources are credible. We did a lot of work with COVID-19 and it was impactful to know our work was going to help a lot of people. Looking back, the biggest thing I did was just learn. I learned how many topics YE4C offers. I appreciate that it is an online resource you can go to any time and is so youth friendly. I learned about other federal agencies. I didn’t know a lot about some of them so being able to work together with them on projects was interesting and powerful. I can’t thank YE4C enough for the growth and experience I got from working on the Editorial Board.
Outside of the YE4C Editorial Board, what do you do?
My main job right now is being a Behavioral Health Interventional Specialist (BHIS). I work with kids who have behavioral problems and help them develop beneficial skills. When I am not at my job, I work with various foster care organizations and volunteer as much as I can. I mentioned it before, but I’m very involved in the foster care system. I work both nationally and locally. I was part of the foster care system growing up and have ongoing health problems. So, I’ve found that I bring insight and can help within those organizations.
Could you talk more about your involvement in foster care advocacy?
Absolutely. I started getting involved when I was 13 years old. I was part of the foster care system in Iowa. There was a local Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP) chapter. They are a youth-driven group across Iowa who help kids who grew up in foster care, who were adopted, who were raised by their grandparents, or who were in similar out of home placement situations. The group completely changed my life. AMP helped find my voice and encouraged me to speak out about my story. I also had a lot of leadership and volunteering opportunities through them. It opened doors to all my other advocacy work. I would recommend them for everyone with a similar background. Although they are only in Iowa, there are similar groups in other states. We meet up annually with these other groups across the nation to collaborate and get to know each other. They really have become a family to me. Because of AMP, I joined the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health board. I have been on that board for 2 to 3 years now.
What advice would you give to other young people who want to go into social work?
I would emphasize something that I was told, especially if they are coming from a past like mine. It may make you feel uncomfortable sharing, but it is worth it if it can help other youth. You can make big changes in people’s lives if you go into social work. At the end of the day, it is totally worth doing even if someone says it isn’t.