The Youth Advocate Program (YAP) is a three-year training and employment program for young adults, ages 18-24, who have been in foster care in Alameda County. YAP provides young adults with the skills and support they need to turn their experiences into insights, and become advocates for youth currently in foster care.
By informing policy decisions and educating social services staff about life in foster care, Youth Advocates help to improve the child welfare system. Youth Advocates also mentor and provide emotional support to current foster youth, both in person and through the creation of outreach materials designed to help them navigate life in this complex system.
In addition to building advocacy skills, YAP helps participants identify their career goals and begin to develop the professional skills required to reach them. Through on-the-job support and training, Youth Advocates learn to thrive in a workplace environment. Specialized internships with WestCoast teams also help Youth Advocates further their educations while gaining valuable work experience.