For 20 years, foster care youth from across New York State have voiced their opinions and concerns at regional events known as Speak Outs. Recognizing the importance of youth voice, the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) established Youth In Progress (YIP), the Foster Care Youth Leadership Advisory Team. PDP has coordinated the efforts of the statewide team since its inception in 2003.
Youth In Progress is comprised of youth leaders, each with an adult mentor, from all over New York State. YIP continues to partner with OCFS to hear, listen, and learn from youth in care, and using their voices to make targeted improvements in the quality of services provided within New York State's foster care system.
PDP's adolescent experts also facilitate bi-annual Youth Leadership Academies, where they prepare youth to train their peers in areas such as advocacy, empowerment, and strategic sharing. The youth leadership program has been rewarding for both youth and adults alike. As a result of PDP's support of this initiative, the program has earned national recognition for its accomplishments.