About the YDC
Mission & Goals
Purpose, Group Norms, Reasons for Involvement
The youth involved in the 04-03-07 meeting identified the following purposes, group norms, and reasons for their involvement as a youth Committee member:
Youth Committee Purpose:
W.I.I.F.M. (what’s in it for me):
From this brainstorming and discussion the following mission statements and Youth Development Committee bylaws were formed.
Vermont foster youth coming together to advocate, educate, and challenge the system to protect the rights of current and former foster youth through policy improvement and change.
“In order to get from what was to what will be- we must go through what is” Anonymous
The Vermont Youth Development Committee is currently composed of 16 youth members and additional adult supports. The goal is increase membership to allow for two representatives of each region in Vermont. Youth Development Committee Members shall be expected to attend all regular business meetings of the Vermont Youth Development Committee.
Definition of or criteria of committee members;
The Vermont Youth Development Committee is supported by the state independent living coordinator, adult support staff and adult volunteers. Such support will include
Voting authority is extended to the committee members that compose the Vermont Youth Development Committee. A majority vote shall be required by the quorum of members present. Voting for officer positions shall be made by secret ballot. All other voting shall be done by show of hands to allow all voting Committee members the opportunity to see their fellow Committee member’s position on the topic of discussion.
A majority of 2/3 of the Youth Development Committee shall constitute a quorum. Until such time that the Youth Committee has reached full capacity members quorum will be 2/3 of the initial members. As additional members are added the 2/3 quorum will be refigured as needed. In the event that there is no quorum, any discussions that are held by those assembled shall be regarded as informal and nonbinding.
In the event of a tie vote, the committee will open the topic for discussion and then call for an additional vote. The tie breaker vote will include a one consensus vote from the adults in addition to the committee member votes.
Officers- Appointment, Terms and Duties
The officers of the Vermont Youth Development Committee consist of President, Vice-President, and Secretary. Potential candidates for office positions will self nominate or be nominated by others, seconded by another youth Development Committee member. Any person who is nominated by another member has the right to decline nomination prior to the voting process. Prior to the elections nominees will be allowed to give a nomination speech not to exceed ten (10) minutes. Questions to the each nominee by the voting members will be entertained for an additional (3) minutes. Appointments for the Youth Development Committee Officers shall be determined during the next committee meeting.
Each Youth Development Committee term will be for duration on one (1) year, with no limit to on consecutive terms.
Vacancies on the Youth Development Committee that occurs before the expiration of a term shall be filled by nomination and election process. The appointment will be made for the remainder of the term.
The following duties have been established for each position:
If an issue with an elected officer rises to the point where members may want to impeach the officer the following steps will take place. The committee will present the issue at hand to the officer; the officer will have the right to defend him or herself. The officer will then be given two (2) months to modify the problematic behavior. At such time a majority vote of those members in attendance will vote as to weather or not he officer maintains his office. If the vote opens up the office the process to fill a vacant position will go into effect.
Voting on issues will in general require a two-thirds quorum of the voting members in order to make the decision binding. If it is determined that the issue at hand is emergent and cannot wait for the next meeting a majority vote of those members in attendance will take place, if the issue is deemed non-emergent it will be tabled till the next meeting when a quorum can be established.
It was suggested that a phone tree would be developed for use when youth presenters are needed quickly and there would not be time to wait for the next meeting to recruit presenters.
Other youth or adults beside committee members may sit in and observe the Youth Development Committee meetings. However, only recognized committee members will be allowed to participate in discussion and voting.
Specific meeting times of the Vermont Youth Development Committee and locations shall be established during the next committee meeting.
Designation of Committees
Sub-Committees shall be formed, as the Youth Development Committee deems needed, in relation to the work of the Committee. Committee members shall be expected to participate in at least one sub-committee at any given time.
These bylaws and operating procedures may be amended by a majority vote at any official Vermont Youth Development Committee meeting as long as a quorum of voters is present.
Topics to consider at future Committee meetings