NEWS: Rep. Gara to Speak at a Foster Youth Conference in Anchorage

Anchorage – Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage), an advocate for reforms to Alaska’s overburdened foster care system, will speak tomorrow at Alaska’s annual conference for volunteers who work with foster youth. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are volunteers from across the state who represent children in foster care cases with a goal of helping make sure they have the best chance to succeed in life.

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Note from Rep. Gara – September 19th: Rep. Gara, Facing Foster Care Launch Back to School Laptop Drive for Foster Youth

Rep. Les Gara, and Facing Foster Care in Alaska founder Amanda Metivier, are launching a Back To School drive to get more laptops to foster youth so they can succeed in school. Gara and Metivier, both former foster youth, founded the Laptops for Foster Youth effort at the suggestion of many youth, who faced barriers to success, and needed online access to schoolwork.

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NEWS: Legislation to Improve Foster Care System and Implement Caseload Standards Passes the Alaska House of Representatives

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed comprehensive legislation sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to improve Alaska’s foster care system. House Bill 151 establishes new training and workload standards for case workers in the Office of Children’s Services. Lower caseload levels are widely recognized to lead to better outcomes for children and families. HB 151 has broad support from children’s advocacy groups and adopts national best practice standards.

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NEWS: Alaska’s National Award Recipients Push Major Success Initiative for Neglected and Abused Children

Juneau – Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Amanda Metivier, the co-founder of Alaska’s main foster youth advocacy and peer support non-profit, have a new thing in common besides being former foster youth. As of January, they have now each been recognized with awards for their work advocating for foster youth by Casey Family Programs, the nation’s leading foster youth advocacy foundation.

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NEWS: National Adoption Day Highlights the Need for Adoptive Parents in Alaska

Anchorage – This past Saturday was National Adoption Day, held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Currently, Alaska has the second highest number of youth per capita in the nation waiting for an adoptive home. There are over 700 youth in Alaska’s foster care system that are ready and waiting for adoptive parents.

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ADVISORY: Governor Walker to Sign Important Foster Youth Success Legislation

Juneau – Alaska Governor Bill Walker is scheduled to sign House Bill 27 during a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the University Center in Anchorage. The bill, sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage), passed the Alaska Legislature unanimously earlier this year. H.B. 27 will make significant reforms to help improve the lives of foster youth in Alaska.

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