/23 November, 2021

Alumni and Fellows dig into networking, development opportunities

Foster America alumni and fellows have had a few opportunities recently to connect with one another, network, and continue to hone their policy and leadership skills. 

In October, fellows from Cohorts 5 and 6 gathered for the last convening of 2021, to share progress with and get feedback from one another. The convening also offered opportunities for fellows to hear from outside experts on issues ranging from federal child welfare policy to co-designing with communities.

Fellows in Cohort 6, who have been in their placements for around 5 months, workshopped their theories of the best approach to impact systemic change in their jurisdictions, while Cohort 5 fellows, who have been with their agencies for a year, used their experiences in their agencies to deepen their theories of change.

Cohort 6 fellows also had time to continue working on their evaluation skills in regard to measuring child welfare-related outcomes, and Cohort 6 spent time honing their adaptive leadership skills.

The four-day convening also Included a performance by Youth LIberation Leaders from Diversity Talks, an organization that creates professional development opportunities led by young people. 

Earlier this month, Foster America held a panel discussion for our alumni community about careers in the federal government that included both practical advice on navigating the federal job posting landscape, as well as the myriad ways in which divisions of the federal government touch the child welfare system.

Former faculty member Randi Walters, Division Director of Child Welfare Capacity Building at the Children’s Bureau, and Cohort 2 alumna Jennifer Worden, who is a Human Centered Design Specialist at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spoke with alumni about the importance of keeping the end goal in mind — improving the lives of children and families — when creating policies.

They also spoke to the importance of keeping long-term goals in mind when working at the federal level, as changes they set in motion may not be put into practice for years. But Foster America fellows, they remarked, are well versed in thinking big and pushing the levers of systems change.

The next opportunity for alumni and fellows to connect will offer everyone a chance to use their brains in a different way: trivia! Current and former Foster America fellows are welcome to participate in a trivia afternoon/evening on Thursday, December 2. Click here to register.

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