Who Developed it and Why?
Project Outsiders is a youth-led not for profit organization, working towards better outcomes for youth in and from the Child Welfare System. It was developed by Chanice McAnuff, a former crown ward from York Region CAS and now has a total of 20 members and is growing. Through advocacy, education, and supportive engagement with their community and local partners, they aim to use their First Voice Advocate lived experience and expertise to tackle issues that contribute towards furthering youth poverty. They bridge the gap between youth in and from care and decision makers to effectively achieve better outcomes for children and youth in care.
Project Outsiders has partnered with CYC Podcast to create a podcast series called “The Foster Care Experience Podcast.” The purpose of this was to create a qualitative communications platform to gather information from guests with lived experiences in the Child Welfare System on the barriers they faced while in care, and talk about the factors that promote poverty for young people aging-out.
By sharing our lives with the rest of the world we hope to raise awareness around the issues that have made this system defective for far too long, while filling in the gaps of communication between youth and their decision makers. We find it to be important to educate both youth and workers around the complexity of each side’s welfare experience to effectively develop better outcomes overall.
How Youth Can Get Involved
Although season 1 is completed there is plenty of opportunity to participate in season 2 which will have a more narrow focus on a particular gap in the child welfare system. If you would like to get involved, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Chanice McAnuff at email@example.com.
They are also looking for volunteers to join their team and help with fundraising, content development, and other advocacy opportunities. If you would like to join the team, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Founder
Chanice McAnuff was put into care in her early teen years, throughout her time in care she struggled with her identity and felt powerless over her circumstances. She was accepted into McMaster University after aging out and determined she would build a not for profit organization for youth facing barriers like herself within the child welfare system. Currently, member of numerous committees and boards including the Youth for Change Steering Committee at the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societis, the Child Welfare Political Action Committee, she is a board member for York Region Children’s Aid, and is the director for Ontario for Youth in Care Canada. She strives to share her truth and knowledge to evoke changes to the child welfare system nationally.