2018 Legislative Shadow Day Hailed a Success

For immediate release:
February 16, 2018

Contact: Katherine Morris
(410) 767-8944

2018 Legislative Shadow Day Hailed a Success
Secretary Padilla Joined Governor Hogan and Delegate Wilson to Host Foster Youth in Annapolis

Baltimore—State Delegate C.T. Wilson and the Md. Department of Human Services (DHS) Social Service Administration (SSA), jointly sponsored the second annual Legislative Shadow Day in Annapolis on February 14–15, 2018. Over 60 foster youth between the ages of 14 to 21 traveled to Annapolis from Baltimore, Calvert, Prince George’s, Charles, Garrett, Harford, St. Mary’s, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester Counties and Baltimore City to meet Governor Larry Hogan and to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of State government during this two-day event.

Each foster youth was paired with a representative from the Maryland House of Delegates during a daylong visit at the State House. Participants were encouraged to discuss issues that were personally important to them, and many shared their personal stories of navigating the foster care system with lawmakers. Attendees then shadowed state legislators for an afternoon, an opportunity that enabled the foster youth to gain exposure to the legislative process in Maryland.

“Both the youth participants and Maryland lawmakers relished this experience to learn from each other firsthand,” said Rebecca Jones Gaston, Executive Director of SSA. “It was a great opportunity for our youth in foster care to live a day in the life of their state delegates.”

Attendees then had the opportunity to witness a hearing for the “Foster Youth Employment Act of 2018” (SB 308), a proposal from Governor Hogan’s administration to establish an apprenticeship and job readiness training program for foster care recipients and homeless youth. The bill expands opportunities for foster youth and unaccompanied minors to pursue apprenticeships and job training opportunities that are not connected to public institutions of higher learning.

“Today was a great opportunity for these young people to learn more about what’s happening in Annapolis,” continued Jones Gaston. “Many aspire to become leaders in their own communities, and we hope that Shadow Day offered some inspiration to help light their way.”

DHS—the Maryland Department of Human Services—is the state’s primary social service provider, serving more than one million people annually. Through its 24 local departments of social services, DHS pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Find more information at www.dhs.maryland.gov, or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.


Filed in: Adoption and Foster Care, DHS News, In the Press

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