Mandy Richard

I am a former youth in care. (Went into care at 9, became a permanent ward- aged out of the system at 21) Advocate for child welfare and First Nations issues since the age of 16. I am now 24 years old. From Wikwemikong First Nations in northern Ontario.

I am Ojibway and Acadian. I graduated from Canadore College in 2013: Journalism- Print and Broadcast diploma. Currently in my second year at St. Thomas University completing a Bachelors of Arts degree with a double major: Communications and Public Policy & Political Science.

Been a member of various government and non-government working groups to try to change child welfare policies. Been a part of several panels in different levels of government and non-government. Involvement with the Canada’s National Youth in Care Network (2010) and an International Youth in Care Network- attended the International Youth in Care Summit in 2012.

Member of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies groups: YouthCAN, and YPAAG "Our Voice, Our Turn" Project (Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth’s office): co-chair of youth-led hearings, co-author of many reports to government. Member of the Blueprint Working Group for Fundamental Change in the child welfare system in Ontario. Member of New Brunswick's Youth in Care Network (Partner's for Youth): partnered with social development in information sessions for foster parents. help facilitate discussions/ communication lead/  MC Youth in Care Summit. Member of The Strategy for the Prevention of Harm for Children and Youth in New Brunswick (New Brunswick Provincial Children and Youth Advocate's Office)  Have been involved with the New Brunswick’s Adoption Foundation Coordinated the Redress Project on university campus to spread awareness about the missing and murdered First Nations women in Canada. Currently: Research assistant with St. Thomas’s University School of Social Work. Project focuses on research about young women that have aged out of the child welfare system and where they are today. How they define what success is, and what would have made their lives better.

Created a documentary regarding Urban First Nations communities as a youth journalist. Through YouthCAN I was a communications intern & assistant coordinator of annual youth in care conference

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