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Statewide Youth Advisory Board

What is a Youth Advisory Board?
It is a fun youth group where important things happen that could positively impact the lives of foster youth in NJ. A Youth Advisory Board is a place for current and former foster youth to gather and discuss how to improve the policies, procedures and services provided to them by the Department of Children and Families, specifically the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P, previously called DYFS). It is also a place for young people to connect with each other, eat food, enjoy exciting activities and feel as though their voice is important to DC P and P, while building important advocacy, leadership and professional skills.

Who is eligible to join a Youth Advisory Board?
Young people ages 14-22 are eligible to join Youth Advisory Boards. These young people must have experience with the State of New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency. Young people should attend the board located closest to their residence or academic setting.

What do members do at Youth Advisory Board meetings?
Members discuss their experiences in care, determine how many others in the State of New Jersey are impacted by these same challenges and create a formal message of suggested change to the State of New Jersey’s child welfare leadership. Food and beverages are provided, a stipend is given to Executive Board Members and fun activities are available throughout the year.

How many Youth Advisory Boards are there in New Jersey?
There are now 15 YAB’s representing all 21 counties in the State of New Jersey. Five YAB’s in the northern region, 5 in the central region, and 5 in the southern region.

When are the meetings?
The meetings take place at least 2 times a month for 2 hours. Meetings start in the late afternoon after 3:30 pm when members are most likely out of school.

How do I join?
You contact Elizabeth Salerno via e-mail at or call her 973-353-5775. You can also visit us on Facebook.

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