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SYF WEBINAR: Navigating the Foster Care System: A Panel Discussion of Experts with Lived Experience

May 18, 2023 | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Use coupon code CARE at checkout to receive your FREE registration.

Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 1:00PM – 2:30PM EST 

Extended Access Available May 19 – Jun. 19, 2023

Register Today

Register now as we recognize National Foster Care Month by engaging in an impactful discussion about best practices in Foster Care with adults with lived and policy advocacy experience within the foster care system.


Tony Hynes, MA, Training Specialist, former foster youth, and transracial adoptee was adopted by a same sex couple in the mid 1990’s. He writes about his experiences growing up as both an interracial adoptee and as a child growing up in a same sex headed household in his memoir “The Son With Two Moms.” Today, Tony is an advocate for families like his, having served on the Board of Directors for organizations that serve to highlight adoptive families from diverse upbringings, and working with individual families in both pre and post adoptive placements. A thought leader in the field of adoption, Tony has been invited to be a speaker at conferences on adoption and foster care throughout the nation, especially those involving interracial placements. Tony completed his Master’s thesis in Sociology on the psychology of children within the same sex headed household in 2013, and in the fall of 2017 was awarded a full scholarship to begin his PhD studies in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County, where he has begun work on his dissertation, which focuses on social connectedness among interracial adoptees. In his time as Training Specialist at C.A.S.E, Tony has designed innovative training curriculums that help families and professionals respond to evaluation and assessment tools that encapsulate holistic pictures of adoptees and foster youth.


Nathan Ross is the assistant executive director at the North American Council on Adoptable Children. Nathan entered foster care at the age of ten, and he was adopted as a teenager. Upon discovering that his resource-filled foster care experience was unique, he decided to center his career around increasing outcomes for future generations of children. Today, he uses his knowledge as a transracial adoptee and child welfare professional to train caregivers, foster care and adoption workers, and system administrators across North America. Additionally, Nathan works with agencies and states to develop programs and policies that genuinely engage youth by placing them at the center of decision-making and recognizing their inherent strengths.



Tony ParsonsRobert (Tony) Parsons is an advocate passionate about empowering others, building coalitions, and improving equity. Tony is the Federal Policy Specialist for Youth Villages, managing a diverse portfolio of child welfare policy topics. Here, he’s launched the organization’s first Youth Advisory Council to center the voices of those with lived experience and expertise. He is also a Consultant for the Capacity Building Center for States, an initiative of the Children’s Bureau, leading work on primary prevention, the child welfare workforce, and race equity. Before joining Youth Villages, and the Center for States, he worked in education advocacy, leading 300+ high schools in a yearlong college enrollment initiative. Tony also has direct classroom and school administrative experience. Since 2022, Tony has been a member of C.A.S.E. ‘s Emerging Leaders Advisory Council where he has helped facilitate teen therapy groups, participated in panels, and helped with the KAN Carnival. He is also an incoming Master of Policy Management candidate at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, as part of the 2024 National Urban Fellows Program.


Ashley Garcia-Rivera is a Policy and Advocacy Fellow at the Center for Adoption Support and Education, where she advocates for the mental health needs of the foster care and adoptive community and adoption-competent therapy. Ashley is currently obtaining a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. In 2013, she created a charity, Suitcases of Hope, dedicated to giving a large duffel bag to youth entering the foster care system. Ashley’s goal is to eliminate the use of trash bags. Since 2016, Ashley has been part of the Speakers Bureau for AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council. Ashley shares her foster care and adoption journey to inspire others to adopt older youth through foster care. This past summer Ashley completed an internship with the National Adoption Association and AdoptUSKids. Ashley looks to bring a fresh perspective from her lived experiences to our ever-changing welfare system.