The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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About Represent
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Represent, a quarterly magazine founded in 1993*, provides a voice for youth in foster care. Their stories give inspiration and information to peers and offer staff a window into teens' struggles.

Represent is published by Youth Communication, a nonprofit organization that helps marginalized youth strengthen the social, emotional, and literacy skills that contribute to success in school, work, and life. Youth Communication also provides lessons and staff development, based on the stories, to help staff improve outcomes for youth at their agencies.

In addition to Represent, Youth Communication publishes a high school magazine, a library of non-fiction books for struggling teen readers, and a variety of leader guides with lessons that focus on social and emotional topics like resilience, work readiness, and masculinity.

To subscribe to Represent or order a particular issue for your teens or staff, click here. We offer discounts to bulk subscribers.

This site contains some of the most recent stories from Represent, as well as two stories from each of our anthologies, which cover topics including dealing with anger; adoption; and incarcerated parents.

Represent stories are ideal for teaching social-emotional skills and literacy. Many of the stories come with lessons and activities for independent living staff, social workers and teachers (look for this Story Lesson Available icon). You can search for stories by topic here. and find a complete list of our books and curricula here.

Want to write for us?

Our core writing staff consists of teens who work one-on-one with adult editors in our New York City newsroom. However, there are several ways for teens outside of New York to get published in the magazine. Teen readers can submit poems online. They can also submit letters to the editor in response to any story. And some teens write and publish stories by working with editors through email. See “Write for Us” for more information.

For parents of youth in care: Youth Communication’s sister program, Rise, publishes a newsletter written by parents who are receiving preventive services or who have had their children removed by the child welfare system.

For foster parents: Represent often publishes stories by teens about their relationships with foster parents. Our anthology “I’ve Found a Home: Teens Write About Foster Homes” collects inspiring stories about teens and foster parents who have built nurturing relationships, and gives parents and staff a blueprint for how to improve foster homes.

* It was originally called Foster Care Youth United.
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A Word About Foster Care
Nationwide, more than 400,000 young people live in foster care. They are removed from their homes when the courts determine that they’ve been abused or neglected by their parents, or when poverty, death, illness or other circumstances prevent their biological parents from properly caring for them. Some older children go into foster care when their families feel they can no longer supervise them.

Once a child goes into the system, he or she lives with either a foster family, a kinship foster family (where the foster family is related to the child), in a group home, or in another type of residential facility, such as a program that provides intensive mental health services. Some young people end up being adopted out of the foster care system, including teens. But many others spend months or even years in foster care, often lacking stability in their lives and a sense of home. Represent readers tell us that reading stories by their peers in care help them feel less alone and more able to cope and make good decisions amid the challenging circumstances of life in the system.

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