Langevin Participates in "Foster Youth Shadow Day"

May 29, 2014 Issues: Children and Families, Foster Youth, Rhode Island

Congressman Langevin with Victoria Flanagan

Congressman Langevin was joined by Victoria Flanagan for Foster Youth Shadow Day.

Congressman Jim Langevin participated today in the third annual “Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day.” Langevin and dozens of his colleagues joined nearly 70 foster youth and alumni from across the country who traveled to Washington, D.C., to shadow members of Congress and get a behind-the-scenes look at the House of Representatives.

Victoria Flanagan, a 20-year-old from Warwick, Rhode Island, spent the morning visiting with members of Langevin’s staff, talking with the Congressman about his duties in Washington, and accompanying him around the halls of Congress as he moved between meetings and committee hearings.

“It was a special honor to welcome Victoria Flanagan as part of National Foster Care Month,” said Langevin. “I was so impressed by Victoria’s commitment to her education. Despite all the challenges she’s faced, Victoria is the first member of her family to graduate high school and is an inspiration to her younger siblings. I have high expectations for her future and no doubt that she will exceed them.”

“It has been my great privilege to work to address issues affecting our nation’s foster youth and improve opportunities for them during their time in the system and after they age out,” continued Langevin. “My family welcomed several foster youth as I was growing up, and I appreciate many of the challenges these children face. We owe them the best possible support, protection and encouragement.”

In addition to her time with Langevin, the schedule for Ms. Flanagan and the other foster youth includes attending a Ways and Means subcommittee hearing about ensuring that foster youth receive proper health care; joining cast members from the ABC Family television show “The Fosters” in educating members of Congress about the importance of investing in the foster care system; and attending briefings at the White House to talk to administration officials about their experiences with the foster care system.

Langevin, a member of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, has worked to address many of the obstacles faced by foster youth, including the struggle to find permanent placements with stable and loving families, as well as the high incidence of identity theft among these youth, whose personal information passes through many hands. Langevin authored legislation, which became law in 2011, that mandated free credit checks for foster youth before they age out of the system, and assistance in clearing inaccuracies from their records.