Between February and May 2021, the Young Adult Consultants have continued to meet and begun brainstorming ways that TFYHI can connect with and support young people in care. The most important identified need and strategy for support is increasing the quality and quantity of supportive conversations with adults in their lives about sex, relationships, and access to reproductive health care.
Young Adult Consultants brainstormed ways to support a fictional foster youth, Alicia, through common challenges.
Toward this end, the Young Adult Consultants are creating example conversations with foster parents, caseworkers, and health care providers that demonstrate what supportive and unsuccessful discussions look like about these topics from their perspectives. These example conversations will inform social marketing campaigns and trainings aimed at caregivers and professionals.
Consultant Spotlight: Zoë Walton-Jones
This month, we also want to highlight one of our wonderful Young Adult Consultants – Zoë Walton-Jones.
Zoë entered the foster care system at 13 years old with one of her brothers, due to physical and sexual abuse. Being placed in foster care prevented Zoë from seeing her 6 other siblings. Going into her second placement, she and her brother were separated. Despite her circumstances, Zoë graduated from Cedar Hill High School in the top 25% of her class. After four years in care, she aged out at 18 and has rebuilt relationships with her biological family.
Zoë has facilitated many conferences, summits and seminars that advocate for and empower foster youth. She was awarded the PAL Region 03’s Shining Star in 2016. Zoe is a 2020 graduate of Sam Houston State University, achieving a B.S. degree in Criminal and a in Political Science. She is currently applying to law school, aspiring to become an attorney practicing criminal and family law. Zoë believes that her circumstances in the past do not define her story; it was merely just a chapter in her book.
It is Zoë’s mission to dismantle racial injustices and disparities within the child welfare and criminal justice system. She will use her platform to elevate standards of living for foster youth and raise awareness of prejudicial policies towards minority groups. Zoë strives to change the governmental structure for the betterment of societal unity and preservation of children. Zoë wanted to be a part of YACG because it allows her to share her experience in care to create a better relationship between youth, foster care givers and caseworkers.