About Us

Mission & Vision

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

Our vision is that all foster youth will be equal partners in contributing to all policies and decisions made in their lives. All youth in foster care will 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.