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Independent Living

DREAM Council


Overview

  • DREAM Council (Dedicated, Responsible, Empowered And Motivated) gives youth an avenue to voice their opinion, to take control of their lives and to be positive role models for all youth in foster care. IL organizes monthly meetings of up to 20 DREAM Council ambassadors and an average of 40 members who represent the interests of their peers as advocates for change. These meetings are held around the state to allow maximum participation.

    DREAM Council meetings are open to youth in foster care, social workers, social services professionals and community leaders. Each meeting features a skill-building, educational component and concludes with a “Speak Out” session that allows youth to air their ideas and concerns in a safe space; anonymous feedback is evaluated by IL staff and incorporated into future meetings and activities. DREAM Council is one of the most valuable methods by which IL empowers youth in foster care to become their own best public advocates.


DREAM Ambassadors

Ambassador Purpose
1. To make a difference in the lives of Alabama’s foster youth.
2. To be a mentor to youth in foster care.
3. To promote leadership skills in Alabama’s foster youth.
4. To educated and promote current foster care policies.
5. To advocate for policy change or improvements in the current foster care system.
6. To educate foster youth on the positive benefits of being in foster care.
7. To be the voice and the face of foster care in Alabama.

Ambassador Criteria
1. 17-19 years of age
2. Submit a completed application with references included
3. Youth currently in the foster care system of Alabama
4. Active in local county’s Youth Advisory Council
5. Demonstrate leadership qualitie.
6. Socially responsible
7. Require minimum amount of supervision on overnight meetings.
8. No criminal background
9.  Attend all D.R.E.A.M. Council monthly meetings.
10. Serve a minimum of two (2) years as an Ambassador.
11. Team-player
12. Motivates self and others.
13. Work to make the difference and to be the difference in the Alabama foster care system.
**All of the above criteria must be met in order to be considered a D.R.E.A.M. Council Ambassador.
 


Youth Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute provides an opportunity for non-ambassador Dream Council youth to gain intensive leadership training in hopeful preparation to serve as a Dream Ambassador in the future.  Dream Ambassadors and potential candidates are brought in a day prior to Dream Council meetings and undergo team building, action learning activities focused on leadership attributes and behavior, therapeutic group activities and leadership service projects.  They are then given an opportunity to experience Ambassador responsibilities first hand through Dream council meetings.  This also serves as a part of the interview process to properly assess a youth’s readiness for the responsibility of becoming a Dream Ambassador.  Components of the institute include: guest speakers such as older youth formerly in foster care and professional with a long history of working with youth in foster care.  It prepares them to advocate for themselves and their peers, to become role models and mentors for other IL youth and to take on future leadership roles.


For more information, contact Ebone Kimber, ewatkins@childrensaid.org or 205-943-5345.

2017 Individuals & Families Served

© 2018 Children's Aid Society

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