Leadership at a prominent 5-year-old advocacy group for Minnesota foster youth will change hands next month. Hoang Murphy, founder of Foster Advocates, is stepping down as executive director of the St. Paul nonprofit at the end of June. His replacement will be former board member Nikki Beasley, the organization announced this week.
At Foster Advocates, young people who have been impacted by the child welfare system in Minnesota are the driving force behind legislative changes in their state. Led by the voices of young people, the organization has helped craft several state laws, including legislation to cover the cost of college for former and current foster youth. Last year, the nonprofit lobbied for increased oversight of the child protection system, assisting in passage of a law that established an ombuds office for foster youth.
“We’ve passed groundbreaking bills and have created a network of Fosters that are leaders in this work,” Murphy said in a statement sent to The Imprint. “But I think what I’m proudest to be a part of, is this ongoing effort of shifting the narrative to really show that people with lived experience have expertise.”
Beasley, who spent eight years in foster care, has more than 20 years of leadership experience working with youth experiencing family conflict, homelessness and sex trafficking. Most recently, she has served as the director of Housing Stability Services at Women’s Advocates, helping women impacted by domestic violence navigate legal systems, housing challenges and employment searches.
“Ideally, I’d like Foster Advocates to become as close to a one stop shop for Fosters as you can get,” Beasley said in a statement to The Imprint. “The groundwork has already been laid, but I’d like to see the org be thought of as a thought leader in how to do this work on the national stage.”