YLAT Youth Leadership Advisory Team: An Innovative Approach to Systems Improvement
The Youth Leadership Advisory Team (YLAT) brings together young people who are involved with the child welfare system and creates opportunities for them to learn and practice leadership and advocacy skills. YLAT is a three-way partnership including the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, and Maine's youth in care. Amid a comprehensive system reform, YLAT has been a guiding force and a clear voice. YLAT has enjoyed many successes and garnered attention--including requests for replication--across the nation. This paper grew from a desire to clearly articulate the YLAT model, both to aid other sites considering a similar approach and to help the team as they determine their strategies for YLAT's next decade of achievements.
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State and Wabanaki Tribes Sign Truth and Reconciliation Mandate
On June 29, 2012, five Wabanaki Chiefs and Governor Paul LePage signed a Mandate document commencing the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine Maine child welfare practices affecting Wabanaki people.
The ceremony represents a historic agreement between Wabanaki Tribal Governments and the State of Maine to uncover and acknowledge the truth, create opportunities to heal and learn from the truth, and collaborate to operate the best child welfare system possible for Wabanaki children, a goal shared by all the signatories to the Mandate.