Alex Oleson is currently a member of the Youth Engagement Committee for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) under Assistant Secretary Johnson and Associate Commissioner Milner. During this time, Alex will help inform the larger community on barriers to permanency under the “ALL-IN Foster Adoption Challenge”. Alex gains knowledge surrounding adoption from his own adoption, previous advocacy, as well as his adoptive parents who were foster/adoptive parents for over 35 years.
I’m “ALL-IN” because we must continue to make these important changes in the child welfare system:
1) Adoption isn’t the only way to ensure permanency, but it can be a great one.
I firmly believe that my own adoption and many other adoptions have had a positive impact on a young person's life. What is important is that they are nurtured, supported, and understood by whoever takes care of them.
2) We are more than a statistic
Longer stretches in the foster care system can be painful for young people. It can cause them to be put in situations that are not best for their futures. Interactions with the legal system and no support system can cause lasting trauma that IS preventable.
3) Young people need to have a voice!
By hearing from youth across the nation the Federal government will best be able to help young people with lived experience create sustainable solutions for youth and their families that come into contact with the child welfare system and ensure permanence more promptly.