Youth Engagement

IYAB’s 8th Annual Youth Conference

Embracing Our Identities


Embracing Our Identities focuses on key aspects of our own unique identities. Through defining and embracing our identity we are able to establish a deeper connection to self, cultivate confidence and feel empowered to advocate for our needs.

IYAB’s 8th Annual Youth Conference
Embracing Our Identities

June 15, 2023
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST
The Garrison
Fort Harrison State Park
6002 N. Post Road
Indianapolis, IN 46216

IYAB’s Annual Youth Conference is an event designed by IYAB members that provides resources, education, and tools to young people transitioning out of foster care across the state of Indiana! All young people (age 14-22) who are transitioning out of foster care and adults who support young people are welcome to attend! 

Keynote Address

Victor Sims, President of Restorative Justice, Guiding Hope

Annual Conference 2023 1Victor Sims spent 11 years in Florida’s foster care system without the stability of a permanent home and supportive family.

From Sims’s work helping to improve children’s experiences when they are removed from their parents to his TEDx Talk on the importance of social capital for youth in care, he is focused on bringing about positive changes to the foster care system. 

Sims helped SailFuture to pilot an innovative case management program for teenagers who were sleeping in offices, and reduced the amount of children sleeping in offices by 100% within 4 months by creating partnerships and building capacity for those caring for children in foster care through recruitment of kinship families. He also helped create a solution to Arkansas’s placement process.

Sims travels throughout Florida and the country speaking to legislators about creating reform for youth in care. He has advocated for a bill of rights for children in foster care, as well as efforts to ensure that every child has a plan for permanency. In addition to serving on the National Foster Youth and Alumni Policy Council, he has met with legislators in support of the Family First Prevention Services Act.

In June 2019, Sims was recognized by the American Bar Association as a Reunification Hero. He shares his experiences to ensure that children have a chance for reunification and beyond. He was recognized as a 2020 Casey Excellence for Children Award as an Alumni in care. This year, he was recognized by the Treehouse Foundation as part of their Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Champion.

Sims in 2020 founded a non-profit organization called Guiding Hope. The organization focuses on mentorship and building relationships with children in Foster Care who identify as LGBTQ+ by creating safe havens within the system of care where they are recognized for who they are, reducing high risk behaviors by 82% such as self-harm, sexual activity, substance misuse and truancy.

What Opportunities are available through IYAB?

It’s up to you! Members can decide how involved they want to be.

You don’t need to fill out an application to check us out! Register for a meeting today so we know you’re coming.

Ready to get more involved?

Foster Success | Angel Crone

Questions? Contact Diana Owens, Assistant Director of Youth Engagement   •   317-504-4196

foster success
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