Lived Experience Leadership:
This is how we work.
LEx= Lived Experience.
For the past two decades, FosterClub has empowered young people with Lived Experience (LEx) to lead efforts to improve the foster care experience for their peers and to reform the child welfare system. FosterClub is built for youth, powered by youth, and changing life in foster care.
But this is about more than how we do our work... This is a movement.
It's about the right to participate in their own case plans, and to have a say regarding the services provided to their families. It's also about establishing the right of young people - for whom the system lays so heavy - to participate in designing, implementing and evaluating the policies, programs, and services that make up the child welfare system.
Nothing about us without us.
FosterClub's LEx Leadership approach is about equity: we seek to ensure those individuals most profoundly impacted by foster care are drivers in developing the policies, practices and decisions across the child welfare system.
All of FosterClub's work is powered by LEx Leaders.
Since the early 2000s, FosterClub has engaged and trained thousands of young people with lived foster care experience. Our approach is to engage and empower those who have the most at stake in transforming the foster care system: young people themselves. FosterClub creates and connects young people from foster care with unique tools and programs, and engages young people to transform life for themselves, their peers, and to ultimately improve the child welfare system.
“Having the opportunity to use my personal lived experience to change the system was transformational.“
— LEx LEADER FROM OHIO
LEx Leaders work in allyship with Professional Staff and Other Adult Supporters.
Our LEx Leader network is a corps of over 230 volunteer service members who step up and take on service opportunities through our Youth Services and System Change program teams. LEx Leaders are supported through partnership with FosterClub's professional staff, partners, and sponsors (allies).
Each year, inspirational LEx Leaders contribute thousands of volunteer hours through their service at FosterClub.
Their important work supports their peers still in foster care and is transforming how the child welfare system works. And along the way, LEx Leaders gain transferable skills, build relationships and community, and often begin serious work to heal from past trauma.
With the FosterClub professional staff as coaches, our LEx Leaders do incredible things. They provide direct assistance to young people, inform public policy, and educate child welfare professionals.