California Youth Connection Exec Resigns Days After Announcing Layoffs, Plans to Restructure

Haydée Cuza, who helped establish the California Youth Connection (CYC) advocacy group in 1988 and became its executive director in 2016, resigned Monday night, less than a week after she laid off most of her staff in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic.

California Youth Connection, whose staff are pictured here, announced a merger with Foster Youth in Action on June 18.


California Youth Connection Abruptly Lays Off Most Staff to ‘Restructure’ Amid Pandemic

In an astounding response to the coronavirus pandemic that stunned the California child welfare field, one of the most vaunted foster youth advocacy organizations in the nation laid off most of its staff this week, the majority former foster youth.


Los Angeles County Creates Its First Ever Youth Commission

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to create the county’s first Youth Commission, answering long-standing calls from youth advocates to give young people a seat at the table shaping policies and programs that impact their lives. 


California Youth Connection Turns 30: Three Decades of Foster Youth Leading the Way

Three decades ago, a group of foster youth who wanted to drive like average teenagers came together to fight for the right to obtain driver’s licenses.  When these teens founded California Youth Connection in 1988, it was the only foster care advocacy organization led by youth themselves. 


New Collaboration Amplifies Youth Voice in Addressing Mental Health Issues

In high school, Cecilia Torres struggled with depression “There were days where I really questioned if I was worthy,” she said. As Torres found it difficult to get out of bed some mornings, she also found herself not wanting to talk with anybody about her mental health issues.

Serena Skinner


My Closed Adoption and the Movement to Change the System

Growing up, I always knew my siblings and l looked so different. I have an olive skin tone with dark hair and almond-shaped eyes. My little brother has a dark skin tone and curly hair.


    Closed Adoption Divides Calif. Teen from Family

    Every holiday season, 17-year-old Jordain Rodriguez sends a note to two families she barely knows with a simple wish: She’d like to see her nieces and nephews. Around the holidays and on each of the children’s birthdays, she writes emails to the two families who adopted her family members, asking for pictures, any recent updates and a chance to talk to them.


    Calif. Foster Youth Propose Policy Portfolio

    After turning 18, foster youth Louis Reed struggled to find stability. Only after spending months without a home did he realize that he might be able to qualify for extended foster care benefits under California’s Assembly Bill 12.


    Foster Youth Questival 2015

    It’s hot, dusty and I have been walking for 12 hours straight. All I want to do is get off this damned mountain. Right behind me are Heather Matheson and Heidi Moran, both in their early twenties, and both a little loopy after fighting their way up thousands of feet of steep snow to get to the top of Mt.