OUR WORK

Action & Engagement

Elevating Youth to Share Their Stories and Raise Their Voices

Through advocacy and engagement opportunities, our programs create space for and champion youth and young adults. Youth are asking hard questions and coming to the table with the changes they think need to be made. Our programs aim to amplify their voices in support of just policies and investments across the state.

LEGISLATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS

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Family & Community

Eliminate Implicit Bias in Child Welfare Responses passed (HB 2505) creating a Child Welfare Equity Committee to recommend actions to ensure equitable treatment of anyone receiving child welfare services. 

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Oregon Foster Youth Connection

Giving Foster Youth the Tools to Succeed

Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFYC) empowers current and former foster youth to share their voices and to be heard in key decisions affecting children and youth in foster care. OFYC members participate in key child welfare advisory meetings, offering their unique perspective in trainings for judges, caseworkers, and foster parents. They also provide education on foster care issues and advocate for policy change in the Oregon Legislature. OFYC members receive meaningful support from their peers and adult mentors and grow in their leadership and communication skills. They work collectively to develop and advocate for lasting solutions for themselves and the thousands of children and youth in Oregon’s foster care system.

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Debate for Oregon's Future

The 2022 Debate for Oregon’s Future is a youth-hosted governor debate, organized by Our Children Oregon, to serve as a powerful launchpad to elevate, engage, and amplify Oregon youth voice. The debate will offer youth most impacted by historical inequities and systemic failures a platform to uplift their lived experiences and influence systemic change by taking their concerns and ideas directly to those in power.

Our Children Oregon’s legacy organization, Children First for Oregon hosted the first debate in October 2018 for Oregon’s gubernatorial candidates where all the questions were written and presented by youth ranging from ages 12 to 19 from across the state. The Debate for Oregon’s Future gave youth the opportunity to hold the candidates accountable for the issues that matter most to them.

Our Children Oregon recognizes the impact and importance of having those children and youth most impacted by policy decisions share their perspectives and ask the challenging questions they need answered. We look forward to the 2022 Governor’s election and our next Debate for Oregon’s Future.