Children’s Division, Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program

Policy and Procedures Handbook of the Missouri State Youth Advisory Board

Handbook in PDF

"We are the Voice of those who count - The Youth in Foster Care of Missouri"

Introduction

The Missouri State Youth Advisory Board (SYAB) was established December 1992, with the first meeting being held on June 25, 1993. The SYAB meets on a quarterly basis. Each member of the board is an outstanding youth in foster care or youth that obtained guardianship or adoption from foster care after the age of 16. Members on the board represent seven geographic regions throughout the state. Each Chafee Contracted Agency nominates at least three youth to serve on the State Youth Advisory Board. Transitional Living Program (TLP) Youth and Native American Youth are encouraged to participate as well. Recognizing that each SYAB member represents all children and youth who have been or are in Out-of-Home placements, each SYAB member is responsible for providing Children’s Services policy and procedural input to CD administrative staff and Juvenile Court. The SYAB decides what goals and activities they want to pursue for upcoming meetings and carry those out accordingly. The SYAB also works as a network by bringing back important information to the Area Youth Advisory Board (AYAB) and other youth in their region. When recommended to serve on the SYAB, the membership term is one (1) year, however, once a member there are guidelines to follow in order to continue membership.

SYAB Mission Statement

The mission of the SYAB is to provide input into the policies and procedures for Out-of-Home Care; provide meaningful leadership training and experiences for board members; and to empower board members who, in turn, can empower children and youth who have experienced Out-of-Home Care.

Recruitment, Requirements, Orientation of Members

Recruitment

Requirements

Orientation

Member Expectations

Elected Officials Requirements

Chair

Co-Chair

Scribe

Co-Scribe

Censor

All positions are for a one year period.

In order to be considered for an officer position, youth must serve on the board for one year.

If there are no members who have served on the board for at least one year, or no members who have served on the board for at least a year that want to be an officer, the election will be opened up to those who have been a member the longest under a year until the positions can be filled.

Ex-Officio Members

Community Members

Rules

Chaperone and Youth Travel Policy

Youth involved with the ILP program and/or the State and/or Area Youth Advisory Boards have occasion to travel to meetings, camps, conferences, etc. We are confident that a youth chosen for such privileges will exercise good judgment and avoid doing things in poor taste that would bring discredit to him/herself and others. Therefore, it is understood that the following policy will be observed when traveling to and from and during ILP activities. If there are questions the youth should ask his/her chaperone.

The chaperone is responsible for going over the travel policy with the youth to make sure everyone understands what is expected and to periodically check with the youth to make sure things are going well. The chaperone is also responsible to make sure the youth is in his/her room when it is time to sleep.

Safety Issues

Meeting/Activity Issues

Considerations for Member Dismissal:

If there are conduct issues during the meeting weekend, a member or member(s) will bring this to the executive team’s attention. The executive team will address the issue in private and with the youth. After three occurrences, it will be recommended that the member resign or risk being voted off of the board.

Conduct issues include but are not limited to:

*Members will automatically be dismissed if there is a violation of the mixed company in room rule.

*If hotel or state property is destroyed, youth will be expected to make retribution.

*If it is deemed that the youth cannot be safely supervised due to their behaviors, they will be dismissed from the board per the ILC.

*If a youth is dismissed or resigns, and would like to rejoin, consideration will be given after one year.