NH DHHS - NH Foster Youth Convene For Independent Living Conference

"Step Up Into The Future: There is an App for that”

Concord, NH – Over 100 New Hampshire youth are gathering today at

Manchester Community College to participate in the 10th Annual Division for

Children Youth and Families (DCYF) Teen Conference. This all-day learning

experience is designed to address the unique needs of older adolescents

making the transition from “out of home care” to adulthood and


“This is a great opportunity for youth to come together, and share

experiences and resources as they make the transition to independence,”

said Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Nicholas

Toumpas. “This is also a chance for them to hear first-hand from other

young adults about skills that will help them as they take the next step in

their lives.”

FosterClub, an Oregon based organization that was founded on the belief

that youth who have successfully transitioned from foster care to

responsible young adulthood are best suited to impact the transition of

their younger peers, provided the keynote presentation. FosterClub

presented at the first annual DCYF Teen Conference in 2005 and a new team

of All-Stars between the ages of 18-24 returned to New Hampshire to help

celebrate the 10th anniversary of this event.

FosterClub presented their signature event, Independence City, a “life on

your own” simulation game designed to teach young people how to access

community resources to help overcome obstacles they will encounter as they

transition into adulthood. Attendees also received information on college

degrees and educational certificates, finding permanency, earning and

budgeting money, being a self-advocate, and resources to assist them as

they transition to adulthood. Awards were given to youth and adults that

had the most significant positive impact on youth in foster care.

“This conference highlights our efforts to join with youth in preparing for

their future,” said DCYF Director Maggie Bishop. “Over the past few years

DCYF has supported initiatives that have involved youth in addressing the

issues affecting their lives. It’s critical for child welfare agencies to

examine their relationships with youth, and establish opportunities to

partner with them. This conference is one of those valuable opportunities."

NH Youth Voices selected the theme of this year’s conference: Step Up Into

the Future: There is an App. NH Youth Voices (DCYF youth advisory board),

the University of New Hampshire Center for Professional Excellence in Child

Welfare (UNH CPE), and FosterClub who provided the keynote presentation and

the conference workshops all co-sponsored the event.