Youth Power, Parent Power mobilizes the collective action of expectant and parenting young people, researchers, system leaders, advocates, community leaders, and youth serving professionals for the promotion of equity and justice. We partner with a group of young parent leaders from communities across the country to plan and lead the initiative’s strategies.
- An equity-centered approach. Incorporate CSSP’s Anti-Racist Intersectional Frame in all aspects of our work. Promoting policies and practices that are explicit in achieving equity and justice.
- Sharing power with lived experience experts. Ask, listen, prioritize, and partner with expectant and parenting youth to take action based on their recommendations.
- A multi-generational approach. Policies and practices are responsive to three generations including the adolescent parents, their young children, and the other adults who care for and support them.
- Tools that are developmentally driven. Policies and practices are informed by principles of healthy adolescent brain development, positive youth development, and early childhood development.
- Resources that are trauma-informed and healing centered. Policies and practices recognize the impact of trauma on development and incorporate strategies for screening, addressing trauma symptoms, and supporting and promoting healing.
- A focus on our Protective and Promotive Factors. Policies and practices create opportunities that support well-being, healthy development, and strengthen young families.
- Results-based and learning and accountability driven. Policies and practices incorporate strategies for data collection, analysis, and tracking of results, as well as generating new knowledge for the field.
Examples of Activities
- Bringing together a group of expectant and parenting young leaders from across the country to collaborate, advocate, and transform standards of care and advance equity and justice;
- Helping public systems and community service providers implement best policies, practices, services, and training of staff, that are aligned with what the research indicates expectant and parenting youth, their children, and families need to succeed and thrive;
- Curating, translating, and disseminating knowledge, best practice, resources, and innovative ideas;
- Developing and using training curriculum and materials for system and community leaders, youth serving staff, and expectant and parenting youth; and
- Convening cross-national workgroups for peer-to-peer learning and capacity building
View our network of past and current partners:
The Brighter Futures Workgroup is a collaboration between current and former youth with lived experience in foster care, legal agencies representing children, legal agencies representing parents, community-based organizations, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, CASA, and representatives from other city agencies including the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Department of Education. The workgroup is co-led by the Center for the Study of Social Policy and consultant Rachel Blustain.
The Brighter Futures Workgroup was formed in 2018. That year, Rise, an organization by and for parents impacted by the child welfare system, published “Where I Come From Doesn’t Determine Where I Will Go: A Guide to Partnering With Parents to Break the Intergenerational Cycle of Foster Care Placement.” The guide offered recommendations by parents with lived experience and the Workgroup was formed in order to turn those recommendations into reality.
If you would like to join the Brighter Futures Workgroup, please contact Fatima Kane: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brighter Futures Workgroup Member Organizations
Brighter Futures Workgroup Parent Committee Members
- Dominique Arrington
- Jerry Calderon
- Nancy Fortunato
- Isaiah Burrell
- Krystal Morales
- TyAsia Nicholson
- Muhchinu Rahman
- Ashly Hines
- Jonathan DeJesus
- Nathali Feliz
Thank you to all the members of the Brighter Futures Workgroup for your time and contributions.
A project by young parents with lived experience in foster care and the Brighter Futures Workgroup that provides information, resources, and tools for youth and young parents currently or previously in foster care, and the professionals and advocates who support them. This is a great tool for young people in care to know their rights, feel empowered, and advocate for themselves and their families. The website is listed as a resource on the Child Welfare Information Gateway and includes tools developed by young parents, articles, and audio clips where they share their experiences and a range of information from:
- Rights when aging out of care;
- Sexual and reproductive health rights;
- Rights as an expecting and parenting youth;
- Rights during a CPS investigation; and
- Worksheets on accessing concrete supports, identifying a medical provider, co-parenting advice and financial management tips.
Supporting the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Youth in Foster Care After Roe
In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, this brief reviews state and federal policy levers that can support the sexual and reproductive health and well-being of youth in foster care and puts forth recommendations for strengthening coverage and access to comprehensive care and ensuring autonomy and consent for care.
Factors Associated with First and Repeat Births Among Females Emancipating From Foster Care
CSSP’s Youth Power, Parent Power initiative partnered with New Jersey’s Montclair State University and the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) on a youth-driven research project to explore the risk and protective factors associated with first and repeat births among females emancipating from foster care. Young parents with lived experience identified the research questions, analyzed the data, co-wrote an article about the research findings, and, using the research findings, co-presented on a national webinar. The article was published by the Journal of Children and Youth Services Review. Please read the article by clicking here.
Research Innovations, New Findings, and Practice Implications for Supporting Young Mothers in Foster Care
This webinar highlighted a process for partnering with young mothers with lived experience in foster care in conducting research to inform policy and practice for expectant and parenting youth in foster care. Presenters discussed new research findings and research-based strategies for supporting young mothers in care and preventing unplanned subsequent pregnancies.
Expectant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Systems Leaders Data Tool Kit
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, working with CSSP and other partners, surveyed child welfare jurisdictions to create a snapshot of data each state collects. They designed this tool kit to support child welfare leaders and system leaders in their data collection and continuous improvement efforts.
The document originally appears on The Annie E. Casey Foundation website; for more information, please click here.
Connecting the Dots: A Resource Guide for Meeting the Needs of Expectant and Parenting Youth, their Children, and their Families
This guide provides stakeholders with information on a wide range of interventions that meet the comprehensive needs of EPY, prevent child abuse and neglect of their children, and improve parent and child well-being outcomes.
Family First Prevention Services Act: Pregnant & Parenting Youth FAQs
The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) was signed into law on February 9, 2018. The FAQs in this brief provide responses to the most commonly asked questions related to this population.
Understanding the Developmental Needs of Expectant and Parenting Youth
This video discusses Dr. Charlyn Harper Browne's paper, which delineates the developmental needs of EPY populations across five domains: sexual and reproductive health, cognitive and emotional development, identity, social development, and preparation.
Effectively Engaging Young Fathers in Child Welfare
This video highlights the voices of four fathers involved in the New York City child welfare system. These fathers detail their experience in the child welfare system as fathers and co-parents.
Expectant and Parenting Youth: Inaugural Webinar
This webinar discusses implications of Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standards under the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R.4980) for expectant and parenting youth and their children in foster care.
Your Rights Related to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH): A Guide for Youth in Care
This report is one of three in a compendium of SRH guidance and resources for child welfare jurisdictions. It offers a means of helping youth understand their SRH care rights.
Sexual and Reproductive Health of Youth in Out-of-Home Care: A Policy and Practice Framework for Child Welfare
This report is the cornerstone of a three-part compendium of sexual and reproductive health guidance and resources for child welfare jurisdictions. It is intended for child welfare leadership and policy makers.
Improving Health Care Services: Opportunities within Medicaid to Support Child Welfare Involved Expectant and Parenting Youth and Their Children
This report offers several strategies states should pursue to maximize the health and well-being of adolescent parents who have experienced foster care and their children.
Expectant and Parenting Youth Developmental Needs: Paper
This report outlines how to best serve expectant and parenting youth in foster care—listing five domains crucial to developmental needs that create positive experiences and mitigate or prevent adverse outcomes.
Changing Systems and Practice for Young Fathers to Improve Outcomes for Young Fathers, Their Children, and Their Families
This report makes recommendations for child welfare system policy and practice changes that recognize the critical role young fathers can play in improving the outcomes of their children and families.
Supporting the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Youth in Out-of-Home Care: A Guide for Caseworkers
This report provides information and resources designed to help caseworkers effectively support youth around issues of sexual and reproductive health—from rights and privacy to case planning and decision-making.