YMCA, Minnesota Youth Leadership Council and Minnesota Department of Human Services Host First Ever Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill on March 12

St. Paul, MN – The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, is partnering with the Minnesota Youth Leadership Council and the Minnesota Department of Human Services to host the first ever Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill on March 12 to advocate for foster child and youth rights.

This event is for youth to have a voice on the pressing issues they experience in the foster care system. A youth summit and training will take place at the Capitol Ridge hotel from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to prepare the youth for meetings with legislators. At 1 p.m. the group of more than 125 youth and adult allies from across the state of Minnesota will march to the State Capitol for a rally in the Rotunda. The rally will include legislator greetings and youth with foster care experiences sharing their story.

The focus of the day will be educating legislators on the top three national priority issues identified by youth with foster care experience: Foster Parent Training, Living Independently and Sibling Connections. The critical issue of the day will be asking legislators for support for an upcoming bill being put forward for the Foster Care Sibling Bill of Rights. Despite federal laws requiring that states place siblings together whenever possible, nearly 75 percent of siblings who enter foster care nationally end up being separated from at least one of their siblings. This bill, which was drafted by Minnesota foster care youth, will protect the rights of siblings in foster care to stay connected.

Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill was planned in partnership with a committee representing youth and adult allies from the following agencies: YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, Minnesota Youth Leadership Council, Minnesota Department of Human Services, Family Alternatives, The Bridge for Youth, Connections To Independence, North Homes Children and Family Services, and Evolve Adoption and Family Services

WHO:
YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, Minnesota Youth Leadership Council and Minnesota Department of Human Services

WHAT:
Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill

WHEN AND WHERE:
Monday, March 12
9 a.m.-1 p.m. - Capitol Ridge Hotel at 161 St. Anthony Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103  
1-1:30 p.m. - March to State Capitol
1:30-2:20 P.M. – Minnesota State Capitol Rally in the Rotunda at 75 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul MN 55155

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Established 161 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities.  The 29 Y locations and program sites, seven overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 350,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.  To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.