Every year, approximately 20,000 young adults age out of foster care – of age to vote and with critical interests to protect. Thousands more are in extended foster care past age 18. These young people may not be made aware of their right to vote or face additional barriers due to their placements. Civic engagement has an important impact on young adults, especially youth with experience in foster care, who face increased challenges with health care, housing, education, and employment. Federal laws require child welfare agencies to request certain vital documents and requires that young men register with Selective Service before a young adult exits foster care. However, there are few, if any, regulations in place to ensure that foster youth know about their right to vote, and that those who are interested in registering to vote are supported in doing so. Advocates can inform young people about their rights and help them develop the skills they need to transition to adulthood and defend those rights. With the upcoming Pennsylvania primary election on May 18th, it is essential that older youth in foster care and those who support them know how to make sure they have any required documents and a plan to make their voices heard.
This virtual symposium will bring together young adults with experience in foster care, advocates, and child welfare practitioners to offer perspectives, interventions, and strategies for improving access to voting for youth in foster care.
Public Service Consultant, Accenture
Lexie Grüber is a nationally renowned advocate working to make government more responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable citizens. In her current role as a public service consultant at Accenture, she works with state and federal government agencies to design new business processes and use technology to improve how they serve constituents. During the Biden-Harris Presidential Campaign, Lexie served as a DNC Presidential Fellow and led a coalition mobilizing people impacted by foster care. In 2016, Lexie co-founded Foster Youth for Hillary, and moderated the first ever townhall on foster care issues with a presidential campaign. Lexie serves on the advisory board of Children’s Rights, a national legal organization that works to reform the U.S. foster care system. Lexie has testified before the United States Congress, and presented at the White House and several Congressional briefings. Outside of work, Lexie is a classical pianist and studies art history at the Smithsonian institute.
Jamie Lowery, Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth
Panel of Young Adult Experts
Additional panelists will be announced shortly