About Us

Mission & Vision

The mission of California Youth Connection (CYC), a youth-led organization, is to develop and grow leaders who empower each other and our communities to transform the foster care and intersecting systems through community-led organizing, legislative, policy, and practice change.

Our vision is that youth impacted by child welfare and intersecting systems are empowered to have their needs met and the support to grow into healthy and vibrant adults.


Youth-led since its inception, California Youth Connection (CYC) empowers foster youth ages 14–24 to build leadership skills and forge supportive relationships while advocating for child welfare reforms that directly impact their lives. To build their skills, CYC members receive one-on-one support and mentoring, specialized training, and frequent opportunities to speak to policymakers, child welfare practitioners, other foster youth, and the general public.

Especially important to our authentic youth engagement and leadership model is the groundbreaking way in which CYC volunteer supporters collaborate with members. Supporters are the backbone of our volunteer base and provide support to member activities, including chapter and advisory board meetings, conferences, and local work. They provide stability in meeting place and structure, transportation, food for meetings, and other support by working in partnership with the members, with the youth leading the way.