“Refreshing” a Youth Organization
In 1988 a group of foster youth and supportive adults founded California Youth Connection, a way for youth to learn leadership and advocacy skills and to engage directly with policymakers and other key decision makers to improve the foster care system. With a grant provided by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation and sponsorship by the California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership, we first helped CYC assess itself. Called a “Refresh” process to distinguish it from a performance assessment, complete organizational analysis or strategic plan, it’s an objective, research-based review of organizational function, structure and effectiveness in achieving mission and goals. It also provides recommendations to help CYC refresh and prepare for its next phase as an organization. We then prepare CYC’s Strategic Plan, working closely with staff, youth members, adult supporters and the Board of Directors to set a bold new course for their future.