Youth Advisory Boards

YAB

It is a fun youth group where important things happen that could positively impact the lives of foster youth in NJ. A Youth Advisory Board is a place for current and former foster youth to gather and discuss how to improve the policies, procedures and services provided to them by the Department of Children and Families, specifically the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P, previously called DYFS). It is also a place for young people to connect with each other, eat food, enjoy exciting activities and feel as though their voice is important, while building important advocacy, leadership and professional skills.

Young people ages 14-22 are eligible to join Youth Advisory Boards. These young people must have experience with the State of New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency or homelessness. Young people should attend the board located closest to their residence or academic setting.

Members discuss their experiences in care, determine how many others in the State of New Jersey are impacted by these same challenges and create a formal message of suggested change to the State of New Jersey’s child welfare leadership. Food and beverages are provided, a stipend is given to Executive Board Members and fun activities are available throughout the year.

There are now 15 YAB’s representing all 21 counties in the State of New Jersey.

    Northern Region
  1. Bergen & Hudson
  2. Essex
  3. Morris, Sussex & Passaic
  4. Union
  5. Warren & Hunterdon
    Central Region
  1. Mercer
  2. Middlesex
  3. Monmouth
  4. Ocean
  5. Somerset
    Southern Region
  1. Atlantic
  2. Burlington
  3. Camden
  4. Cape May
  5. Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem

The meetings take place at least 2 times a month for 2 hours. Meetings start in the late afternoon after 3:30 pm when members are most likely out of school.

Contact either the Statewide YAB Coordinator or the Regional YAB Coordinator in your area. You should also check out the YAB Facebook page at:

New Jersey Statewide Youth Advisory Board Coordinator
Elizabeth C. Salerno, MSW, LSW
School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
360 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Hill Hall, 4th floor, Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone: 973-353-5775
esalerno@ssw.rutgers.edu

Northern Region Youth Advisory Board Coordinator
Colleen Lord
School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
360 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Hill Hall, 4th floor, Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone: 973-353-2725
clord@ssw.rutgers.edu

Central Region Youth Advisory Board Coordinator
Nishi Sheth
School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
123 Church Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Phone: 848-932-8272
nsheth@ssw.rutgers.edu

Southern Region Youth Advisory Board Coordinator
Angel J. Perez
School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
800 Cooper Street, Camden, NJ 08102
Phone: 856-966-0200
aperez@ssw.rutgers.edu