The Humboldt County Transition-Age Youth Collaboration (HCTAYC) is a youth advocacy and leadership development organization dedicated to empowering young people with lived experience to transform the foster care, juvenile justice, mental health and homelessness services systems.

We bring together public and private partners, organizations and individuals,at the local, state and national level to improve the lives of youth ages 16 to 26.

In addition to our primary focus areas listed above, we also address secondary issues that intersect with youth-serving systems. Our identified secondary focuses are: 

  • Indigenous rights and culture
  • Substance misuse / abuse and harm reduction
  • (Non-foster care) child welfare
  • Education
  • Parenting youth
  • Suicide prevention
  • Racial equity and multicultural justice
  • Sexual and reproductive health.

HCTAYC has three main components: 

  • Youth leadership development and Youth Advocacy Board (YAB)
  • Policy and advocacy
  • Training and technical assistance.

Follow us on Facebook for upcoming events, YAB posts, and information on ongoing campaigns and initiatives.

HCTAYC Youth Advocacy Board

The Youth Advocacy Board (YAB) is a program for youth ages 16 to 26, with a primary focus on youth with experience in foster care, juvenile justice, behavioral health or homelessness. The YAB is also involved in secondary focus areas, meaning issues that intersect with and influence the primary focus areas of our organization. HCTAYC and the YAB are supported by DHHS.

YAB members participate in a variety of county meetings, committees and workgroups to provide youth perspective on policies and practices that affect youth in Humboldt County and improve and transform systems and services to best serve Transition-Age Youth (TAY). YAB members commit to amplifying the voices and experiences of their peers, one way they do this is by leading youth-driven initiatives, projects and committees to address current issues in the local TAY community.

YAB members develop skills to facilitate trainings, workshops and panels for social workers, probation officers, educators, counselors, parents, TAY and other community partners. YAB members receive training on advocacy, policy development, community outreach, group facilitation, professional development, leadership, public speaking, event planning, curriculum development and personal wellness and growth. YAB members receive supportive services and opportunities to work toward education and employment goals. 

The HCTAYC YAB is structured by graduated levels of participation, with opportunities for participants to grow and develop their leadership skills. The intent of this structure is to create a sustainable ecosystem of TAY leadership in Humboldt County. We utilize the metaphor of the mighty Coastal Redwood to describe the growth of youth leadership as we believe that with appropriate resources and support all system-involved youth are capable of becoming leaders for system transformation.

YAB members receive compensation for the time and expertise they provide. This is necessary as they participate at the same tables and in the same committees and projects that paid professionals do, often with the same level of dedication and insight. When TAY are compensated for their work they are more engaged, have a greater sense of ownership and are able to feel valued by the organization.

If you are interesting in learning more about the YAB structure or application, contact HCTAYC at 707-476-4922 or humboldtyouth@gmail.com.

Trainings & Technical Assistance

HCTAYC staff and youth members develop trainings and tools to assist youth leaders, staff and administrations effectively collaborate. The majority of trainings and tools are youth developed, with a few exceptions that are youth-informed. We create this material in alignment with issues that our YAB identifies as most important and respond to sufficient levels of requests for specific topics or urgent matters impacting our communities.

Training Menu

We are currently in the process of revising our menu of trainings due to updates to our curriculum. Once complete, the full list will be posted here.

Technical Assistance Menu

  • Youth engagement and retention
  • Youth advocacy and leadership development
  • Public service systems policy
  • Youth-friendly service design and provision
  • Diversity and inclusion

You can request a training or technical assistance with the following Google form.

Training & Technical Assistance Form

Policy Recommendations


  • Include youth voice in decision making and policy setting
  • Improve services and systems for youth
  • Strengthen systems that serve youth
  • Create better outcomes for youth
  • Increase awareness and understanding of youth needs
  • Make systems and services more accountable through ongoing feedback
  • Ensure accountability to youth in Humboldt County
  • Support and model youth-driven analysis, and change work for counties outside of Humboldt.

How :

  • Ask youth what areas need immediate improvement and focus on the identified issues, programs and services
  • Do research on issues, programs and services
  • Train youth to conduct focus groups
  • Conduct focus groups and interviews
  • Compile data and share with policy experts to categorize and formalize policy statements
  • YAB members meet with policy experts to review statements and supporting facts
  • Prepare for recommendation process
  • Present recommendations to the program and service provider(s)
  • Provide feedback and assist in guiding implementation of the recommendations
  • Distribute recommendation document to youth, stakeholders and the community.