Why President-elect Biden should select Dr. Jerry Milner to run the Children's Bureau

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Importance of youth voices

For far too long, child welfare policies and programs were created without the input of young people with experience in foster care.  This changed at the highest levels of policymaking when Dr. Jerry Milner became the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau. Foster care alumni nationwide quickly learned that Dr. Milner was not just another politician --he centers his work in the voices and experiences of young people with lived experience. His leadership over the past four years in engaging young people in every aspect of his work has shown how federal policymaking can and should be done for years to come.  

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris have made clear that the voices of people who are most impacted by federal policies must be heard. As they consider appointments to the Children’s Bureau and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), they have the opportunity to ensure that young people can directly advise key federal policy decisions by appointing Dr. Milner. . Over the past four years, Dr. Milner and his team have visited almost every state in America to speak directly with alumni of foster care. He not only engages the voices of young people-- he acts on what he hears. .  Dr. Milner understands that his decisions in Washington directly affect our day-to-day lives and our futures, and he has spent nearly four years working to make sure those decisions make our lives better.  

 Our voices are essential because we are closest to the problems and the solutions. While the U.S. child welfare system has a long way to go to become a system that is reflective of our voices this moment is critical for making transformational and lasting change to the system, and we need someone who can keep delivering. Dr. Milner has uplifted youth and family voices by engaging with youth and families all across America.  Dr. Milner is a leader who can not only hit the ground running on day one but who will share power with those who historically and traditionally do not have a voice. He is the leader we need for this moment, and we strongly encourage the Biden-Harris team to appoint him to a top position