Annapolis, MD  – February 28, 2020 – State Delegate C.T. Wilson, Maryland Department of Human Services Secretary, Lourdes R. Padilla, and the Department’s Social Service Administration jointly sponsored the 4th Annual Foster Youth Legislative Shadow Day, held on February 12th and 13th in historic downtown Annapolis.

Over 50 foster youth between the ages of 14 to 21 traveled to Annapolis from 13 counties and Baltimore City to learn about the legislative process, shadow representatives from the Maryland House of Delegates, and meet Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Chief Legislative Officer Keiffer J. Mitchell, Jr.

“The past two days were a great opportunity for our youth participants to see firsthand how policies that may impact them can become a law,” said Lourdes Padilla, DHS Secretary. “It was exciting to see the connections being made and to hear the insightful questions being asked by these youth.”

Youth attended delegate committee meetings, traveled through the State Capital tunnel, and toured the Maryland State House. This year’s cohort of youth were among the first to engage with the life-sized statues of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, which were recently unveiled in the Old House of Delegates Chamber by Governor Hogan on February 10th.

“It was evident that our youth and legislators learned a lot from each other,” said Michelle L. Farr, Executive Director of DHS’s Social Services Administration. “I hope this experience has touched each person involved and made a lasting impression for years to come.”

Foster Youth Legislative Shadow Day is one of many activities that DHS coordinates to provide foster youth with memorable and interactive learning experiences. To view pictures of the two-day event, visit