Who We Are - AMP | Achieving Maximum Potential

Who We Are

What is AMP?

AMP Vision Statement

Iowa is a state where youth are embraced, supported and valued by their community and become healthy citizens.

AMP Mission Statement

AMP gives youth a voice.

AMP Motto

"Nothing About us, Without Us!"

AMP Goals & Objectives

AMP is a youth-driven, statewide group that seeks to unleash the full potential for personal growth among foster, adoptive and kinship children in Iowa. AMP offers leadership opportunities, service learning projects, speaking opportunities, and educational/ vocational assistance.  AMP also provides the life skills youth need to become self-sufficient, independent adults.

Summarized by the motto, “Nothing about us, without us," AMP is a youth engagement program.  AMP involves young people as advocates for themselves and as a voice for system-level improvements in child welfare laws, policies and practices. When supported through productive partnerships with adults, youth can be authoritative advocates for making foster care more responsive and effective.

Specifically, AMP:

  • Will train and empower teens to become advocates for themselves and other youth in the child welfare system through participation on DHS and community committees and the support of bills in legislature
  • Will advocate for permanency planning for all council members and help to establish strong adult/youth connections and ties within the community through service learning projects
  • Is a youth-driven effort that is here to empower foster care youth.  AMP’s goal is to unleash their full potential and empower lives
  • Will be a catalyst for foster care youth leadership through statewide representation in the community, courts and legislature
  • Will educate legislators, foster parents, human services, juvenile court professionals and the public about foster care and adoption through the creation of training curriculums
  • Will work with community partners to recruit families to foster or adopt teens, including specialty homes for LGBTQ youth, youth who have experienced juvenile delinquency, and youth approaching age 18, through the sharing of their personal stories
  • Will increase the self-esteem of its current members through peer-to-peer support groups and testimonials
  • Will connect youth with the Iowa Aftercare Services Network to assist their personal and educational needs.  Alumni will be urged to continue to participate in AMP and serve as mentors and leaders for younger council members

Download the AMP Operations Manual (PDF).


Who are AMP youth?

AMP members are ages 13 -23 who have been involved in foster care, adoption or other out-of-home placements.

"I've seen the kids present multiple times and they are so impressive..sending a great message not only to other kids, but to the professionals that impact their lives."

- Roxanne Riesberg (Child Protection Program Manager, Iowa Department of Human Services)


What do AMP youth do?

  • Train to become advocates for themselves and others.
  • Participate in valuable leadership opportunities.
  • Develop their voices by telling their own stories.
  • Educate legislators, foster parents, the public, child welfare professionals and juvenile court representatives about foster care and adoption from the youth perspective.
  • Build youth/adult partnerships in the community that create opportunities for service learning.
  • Encourage others to open their homes to teens in foster care or those available for adoption.
  • Provide understanding, support, and encouragement to one another.
  • Gain the life skills necessary to become healthy, independent adults.
  • Explore educational/vocational options to chart their path to become successful productive adults.

What do AMP youth hope to accomplish?

Help foster youth to become independent adults who can successfully educate others about the child welfare system and take an active role in making life better for themselves and others in state care.

How you can help!

Allow us to speak at your next event

AMP youth have a compelling story to share. Please consider having them speak at your next luncheon, meeting or event.

Share a skill, talent, or hobby

The majority of youth who reach adulthood while in foster care do not get the chance to develop critical life skills - skills that enable others their age to succeed. Please consider sharing your skills and knowledge with our young people. You can help them build a resume, fill out a car loan or college application, or understand personal finances, to name a few.

Donate a service or a product

Teens leaving foster care have many needs that other teens coming of age are provided by their biological families. Furnishings, sheets, blankets, personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies, towels, kitchen supplies and more are all items these youth will need to live independently.

Click here to find an AMP near you!

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