The Missouri State Youth Advisory Board (SYAB) was established December 1992. The SYAB meets on a quarterly basis. Each member of the board is an outstanding youth in foster care or youth that obtained adoption or guardianship after the age of sixteen that represents other youth in his/her area of the state. Each of the seven administrative areas is represented with up to four (4) youth who are nominated at their local level to serve on the SYAB to assure that SYAB members are equally representing their specific area as related to geographical size. The board also may consist of three non-voting, ex-officio members. Ex-officio members must be a current or former foster care youth who has served at least a one-year term as a board member or alternate, within the last three years.
Recognizing each SYAB member represents all children and youth who are/were in out-of-home placements, each SYAB member is responsible for providing Children’s Services’ policy and procedural input to CD administrative staff/Juvenile Court. The SYAB decides what goals and activities they want to pursue for upcoming meetings and carry those out accordingly. The SYAB also works as a network by bringing back important information to the Area Youth Advisory Board (AYAB) or other area youth leadership community, who in turn, takes information back to youth in their area. When recommended to serve on the SYAB, the membership term is one year, however, once a member; there are guidelines to follow in order to continue membership.
Leadership opportunities are an important life skill and should be given to all youth in care.