115 organizations collectively present the 2021 Children’s Agenda, urging legislators to center children and youth during this legislative session.
The Children’s Agenda, a program of Our Children Oregon, connects a community of 115 advocates, coalitions, and organizations to champion equitable state legislative policies and shared investments that improve the lives of children and their families. Since its inception 7 years ago, the majority of items in the Children’s Agenda have been successful.
The 2021 Children’s Agenda includes 44 items submitted by 30 partners, of which 11 items were elevated as priorities. These priorities focus on addressing racial inequities impacting Oregon’s children and families. The items of the Children’s Agenda are reviewed and compiled by a steering committee of community partners and are prioritized to advocate for the needs that our communities know are essential to address the existing inequities experienced by children of color, children living in poverty, and children who are immigrants. Oregon’s children and families are resilient and we can and must come together to create and ensure an equitable Oregon where they can thrive.
This year’s agenda is web-based and features full descriptions of each Agenda item including organization leads and supporters, downloadable info sheets, and links to track items as they move through the Oregon Legislature this session.
Members of Our Children Oregon’s Oregon Foster Youth Connection program will advocate to eliminate bias from child welfare responses this session
Among the priorities items of the 2021 Children’s Agenda is removing implicit bias from child welfare responses, a legislative concept that was developed during OFYC’s 2020 Policy Conference in the summer of 2020. This bill (HB 2505) will strengthen the existing Governor’s Child Foster Care Advisory Commission and create a Child Welfare Equity Committee to provide oversight and recommend actions to address bias. In doing so, the disproportionate numbers of Black and Indigenous youth in Oregon’s foster care system will be reduced and more support will be provided to families to avoid removal of youth to foster care.
Current and former foster youth (ages 14-25) are invited to participate in the upcoming OFYC virtual 3-day Advocacy Convening (January 22-24) and have the opportunity to advocate for OFYC’s 2021 bill.