Our two interlinked annual conferences, the Summer Leadership and Policy Conference and the Day at the Capitol Conference, provide dynamic forums for putting into action our dual goals of empowering youth and improving foster care.
The conference provides a time for members to explore potential solutions to the issues identified by the chapters and selected by the CYC Youth Board, and propose a set of policy recommendations that they then present to hundreds of legislators, policymakers, advocates, and other community members who join the conference on the final day.
About six months after the summer conference, CYC members travel to Sacramento to meet directly with legislators, urging them to support our sponsored bills during our Day at the Capitol conference in February. Day at the Capitol showcases our legislative work for the year as members carry our recommendations for reform of the foster care system directly to lawmakers.
CYC is highly respected and valued by members of the legislature, resulting in meetings with nearly all of the 120 elected officials every year. A CYC delegation also meets with the governor’s office to discuss their ideas for improvements in the foster care system. The conference concludes with a rousing rally on the Capitol steps, where CYC members broadcast our legislative agenda.
Pivotal to the fulfillment of our mission, CYC’s Day at the Capitol conference has resulted in the eventual passage of dozens of new laws and policies that have profoundly improved the lives of children and youth who experience foster care. Our renowned conferences receive statewide media attention, and have become national models of youth-led policy advocacy.