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JBS Employee Lupe O. Tovar Receives Award for Child Welfare Leadership

January 31, 2018

Lupe O. Tovar, manager of the National Youth in Transition Database project at JBS, has received an award from Casey Family Programs for her work as a foster care alumni advocate.

Tovar received the 2018 Alumni Award in the Casey Excellence for Children Awards program, which recognizes individuals from around the country who are making exceptional contributions to improving child welfare in America.

Tovar was in foster care herself as a child and young adult; she is now a dedicated advocate for other current and former foster youth. In announcing the awards, Casey Family Programs wrote that Tovar has “one of the strongest voices of alumni of foster care in the country” and is “one of the country’s most effective advocates for youth in foster care.”

At JBS, Tovar works with the National Youth in Transition Database, a federal program that collects information from youth in foster care and tracks their outcomes. She manages a cohort of young adult consultants with lived experiences in the child welfare system who work with states to improve their foster care services.

“We’re looking at data, but behind every data point is a young person’s life and story, and having alumni at the table keeps everyone in the room true to the work,” Tovar said in an interview with Casey Family Programs. “The families from foster care and the young people from foster care know what they need. If states were able to frame their systems around that, that would be really great.”

The full interview with Tovar and interviews with other 2018 award winners are available on the Casey Family Programs website.

Tovar also served on the national board of directors for Foster Care Alumni of America for a decade and has advocated for child welfare reforms at the federal level. In 2015, the White House named her a Foster Care Youth Champion of Change for her dedication to supporting young adults in and from foster care.

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