Young people play an important role in shaping our society and contributing to their families, their communities, and the broader economy. Their ability to fulfill their hopes and aspirations will ultimately determine our collective future. Young people deserve opportunities that promote their health and well-being, maximize their power and promise, and support their ability to achieve their goals and dreams. Public policy is indispensable to fulfilling this vision.
As young adults are setting out on their own, they face a rapidly changing world, new responsibilities, and enormous challenges and opportunities. Many young adults are simultaneously pursuing personal milestones—achieving education and career goals, starting a family—and navigating the realities of our time: climate change, new technologies that are changing the ways we interact and work, a crisis in affordable housing and child care, and persistent discrimination and exploitation in the labor market.
They are doing this, as so many young people have, in the context of police brutality, racism, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination, many that are targeted at youth or which youth experience in very unique ways. They face these threats as they attempt to make the most of new freedoms to pursue their vision for their own futures.
“Why is it so hard to get food? Why is it so hard to pay my car payment?”
A product of a collaboration between young adults who have experienced foster care and the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), our national policy agenda reimagines how policy supports young people. The agenda seeks to advance policy that supports young people in their families and communities, respects and affirms their whole identity, and sets us all up for success.
National Policy Agenda
We believe that we owe young adults meaningful opportunities, including fulfilling jobs that pay a living wage, have predictable hours, and provide workplace protections; housing that is safe, healthy, and stable; health care that is affordable and affirming, and includes supports for managing stress, anxiety, and other mental health needs; and for those who are parenting, affordable and responsive child care. Our recommendations grow out of the following six principles.