California Youth Connection - Our Voices, Our Future


Donations & Contact Info » Contact » Staff Bios » Legislative Coordinator

Sign up to get email updates about the impact our youth are making

Legislative Coordinator

Vanessa Hernandez


As a child welfare advocate, Vanessa is most passionate about honoring the commitments made to underserved populations through practice, policy and legislative change.

Vanessa currently serves as California Youth Connection’s Statewide Legislative Coordinator. California Youth Connection (CYC) is a youth led organization that creates positive impact on a local and statewide level to improve the Child Welfare System. Vanessa is responsible for shepherding the organization’s legislative package to actualization while developing youth into leaders who harness the power of their voices and experiences.

Before working for CYC, Vanessa worked for Riverside Department of Social Services where she worked alongside extended foster care youth, social workers and local policy makers. In that role, she helped implement extended foster care, supported transition age youth, developed trainings for child welfare professionals, mentored youth and collaborated on designing county-wide system improvement plans.  

Vanessa is currently appointed to:


  • California Child Welfare Council (Secretary Diana Dooley-CA Health and Human Services Agency)
  • Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Initiative (Chief Justice of CA Tani Cantil-Sakauye)

  • Student Mental Health Workgroup by Superintendent Tom Torlakson (CA Department of Education)  

Vanessa also serves as a steering committee member of Sacramento Latina Leaders Network and volunteers for Sacramento CASA.  

* CYC is a registered 501c3. All donations made to CYC are tax deductible.
© 2017 California Youth Connection