In My Skin

By Justice Stevens Justice Stevens was adopted transracially with his sister. He shares his thoughts below about how the transracial placement affected him and what his parents did—and do—that help. When I was eight I was trans­racially adopted. My parents are white and I’m Black. We lived in a small white suburban town. The number… Read more

Categories: Parenting, Transracial, Youth, Youth Stories

Positive Identity Formation and Community Connectedness for Children and Youth in Transracial Placements Webinar

Children and youth being raised in families of a different race and culture than their own have unique needs around positive identity formation and social / community safety. Through this webinar, presented by a young adult with lived experience and by an adoptive parent – both in transracial adoptive families – parents, youth, and professionals… Read more

Categories: Identity, Parenting, Training, Transracial, Well Being, Youth

Transracial Resources

The resources below were identified by Deb Reisner, NACAC’s parent support specialist who facilitates NACAC’s support services for transracial adoptive families in Minnesota. Blogs, Videos, and Websites by Transracial Adoptees For Transracial and Transethnic Adoptees John Raible Online: Supporting the Transracial Adoption Community Through Education and Research A Birth Project: Transracial Adoption from One Black… Read more

Categories: Parenting, Transracial, Youth

The Teen Years: Brain Development, Impact of Trauma on Growth, and Parenting Strategies Webinar

Research is revealing that the typical youth brain is not capable of true adult functioning until 20+ years of age – information that has critical implications in terms of cause and effect understandings, critical thinking skills and maturation. For youth who have experienced foster care and adoption, this developmental process can be significantly affected. This… Read more

Categories: Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Training, Trauma, Youth

Positive Youth Development and Youth Advocacy Webinar

This session is for individuals and agencies looking to expand their advocacy and public awareness efforts in partnership with true experts – the youth who have experienced foster care, kinship care, and/or adoption. Learn the basics of development, promotion and maintenance of public speaking team(s) of adopted/foster/kin youth. Engaging youth and young adults in such a “team”… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Network, Training, Youth, Youth Advocacy

Prudent Parenting: Implementation of the Strengthening Families Act Normalcy Provisions Webinar

What child doesn’t want to play on a Little League team, go on a school field trip or sleep overnight with friends? What teen doesn’t dream of getting a driver’s license, earning money at a part time job and attending the prom? Many of us can remember how foundational these and similar experiences were in… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Training, Youth

Improving Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being for LGBTQ Youth Webinar

This informative webinar is designed for anyone parenting or providing services for LGBTQ children and youth in foster care, adoption, or relative care. Included is an overview of what we know about: LGBTQ youth in out of home care the impact of family rejection their struggle for inclusion and safety when in care lack of… Read more

Categories: Achieving Permanency, Adoption Practice, Advocacy, LGBTQ, Older Youth Adoption, Training, Youth

Effective Legislative Advocacy Strategies Webinar

Presenters share successful Florida advocacy efforts to pass the state’s “Normalcy Bill” to create a more supportive and normative growing up experience for children and youth in foster care. The law allows foster and kin caregivers to make prudent parental decisions about activities that their foster and kin children participate in, without having to seek… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Post Adoption Services, Training, Youth, Youth Advocacy

Be Heard: Youth and Parents As Advocates Webinar

Gain tools and understanding to become effective advocates, whether you are working on personal needs (case advocacy) or larger issues (class advocacy). Advocates need to develop consensus, value the principle of WII-FM (what’s in it for me), craft a coherent and achievable message, gather meaningful data, and develop an advocacy agenda that can succeed. Presenters… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, How to Advocate For Support, Post Adoption Services, Training, Youth, Youth Advocacy
girl drawing

Depression in My Eyes: This I Believe

by Catherine, 2015 I often dread the days where I have to get up in the morning, and pretend that everything is alright, and that I hopefully survive the day without one negative thought, or thinking about my unspeakable past. There is a miserable place that depression takes me to after gaining full dominance of… Read more

Categories: Youth, Youth Stories

We Can Help Create Youth Networks!

NACAC is able to help organizations in the US and Canada start or enhance support or advocacy networks led by and serving youth people who have experienced adoption or foster care. Our services include providing technical assistance on leadership development and program planning. In addition to technical assistance on youth advocacy and support networks, NACAC… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Advocacy, Youth Stories

NACAC’s Youth Advisory Team

In 2016, NACAC created a Youth Advisory Team to ensure that we can highlight and learn from young people who have experienced foster care and adoption. In addition to advising NACAC and supporting our work to enhance youth advocacy efforts in the US and Canada, the Youth Advisory Team is available to consult with others… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories

Sample Stories, Artwork, and More from Young People

We at NACAC believe in the power of expressing your lived experience as an advocacy and support tool. We encourage adoptees and young people who are or who have been in foster care to share their stories to make a difference in the lives of others. We also embrace the diversity of ways people can… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories

Ways to Share Your Story

We at NACAC believe there is tremendous in shared experience and personal advocacy. By telling your story about foster care and adoption, you can change the child welfare system inspire others to get help or speak up help other young people know they are not alone change public perceptions of foster and adopted youth heal… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories

Sharing Your Story

When young people are telling their stories in advocacy efforts, it’s incredibly important to ensure that they know what to share and, more importantly, what not to share. Explore this section of our site to: Read about different ways to share your story Read and view sample stories, videos, and artwork from young people Strategic… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories
teens and mom

Resources on Youth Advocacy and Support

Please explore the articles below about how to start or improve youth advocacy or support networks. Use the sidebar links to learn about how we can help. NACAC Resources Articles Teaching Youth the Essential Qualities of a Leader Developing an Advocacy Plan Taking Care of Yourself Advocacy Tips Tips for Creating a Public Service Announcement… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Network, Youth
group of teens

The Importance of Youth Networks

By Kayla Van Dyke (this article originally appeared in Fostering Families Today) “Nothing about us without us!” This slogan has been used by many groups over the years to highlight the important role that stakeholder populations should have in informing the policies, procedures, and resources that affect them. Recently, these words can be heard as… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Network, Youth
teens in circle

Starting a Youth Network

Choosing Your Purpose There are a variety of youth support and advocacy networks, although each group is different. Some options include: peer-to-peer mentoring traditional mentoring tutoring life-skills training advocacy support social Anyone who wants to start or enhance a youth network needs to decide what type of group is right for them and their community… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Network, Youth

Creating, Enhancing, and Expanding Programs for Children and Teens

Most foster, adoptive, and kinship groups first form to support parents but even groups whose sole purpose is to support parents have an underlying commitment to the family–parents and children. There are also many parent groups that offer some type of program or service for their members’ children, even if it is just providing child… Read more

Categories: Parent Group, Post Adoption Services, Start a Group, Youth

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The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive families thrive and every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family.


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