Young Adult Extension of Care Act

To many youth in foster care, the thought of approaching the age of 18 can bring on feelings of fear, insecurity, anxiety and loneliness. For these youth, there is a real concern that they will soon age out of the foster care system without knowing what their immediate future holds or who will be by their side each step of their journey to adulthood.

According to the national statistics, the age at which young adults leave their family home continues to increase steadily from year to year with recent studies finding the average age that young adults move out on is well into their twenties. In Rhode Island, foster youth do not have the ability to voluntarily stay in foster care and receive support beyond age eighteen. Unfortunately the result is dire for so many of those youth. Many do not finish high school, few enter college, many experience periods of homelessness, struggle with food insecurity and experience the adult criminal justice systems.

Extension of Care ActAdoption RI, as a member of a coalition of child welfare advocates, has been diligently working with a number of legislators to lead the charge for the passage of the Young Adult Extension of Care Act. This Act will give foster youth the ability to request ongoing assistance and support between age 18-21 so they can finish high school, enroll in post high school educational opportunities, gain employment and receive other supports to keep them from homelessness and other challenges they currently face. This will be a game changer for so many youth who need the extra help and support while they transition to adulthood.
Please contact your legislator and ask them to vote “yes” on the Young Adult Extension of Care Act.
If you are not sure who your state representative or senator is, you can be guided to that information by visiting: https://vote.sos.ri.gov

Also, please send notes to House and Senate Finance Chairs e-mail addresses to ask them to pass this legislation:
Representative Teresa Tanzi; Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Human Services: reptanzi@rilegislature.gov

Representative Marvin L. Abney; Chairman: rep-abney@rilegislature.gov
Senator William J. Conley, Jr., Chairperson: sen-conley@rilegislature.gov

The link to each of the bills is below, should you wish to read more are below.

Every child and youth in Rhode Island state foster care deserves the safety and security of knowing they will be able to get help to complete school, to receive the services they need to better their outcomes, and to ensure they will have a roof over their heads past the age of 18! Every child needs time to succeed. Every youth should welcome their eighteenth birthday. Together we can help!

For more information how you can help, contact Adoption Rhode Island at 401-865-6000.

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText17/HouseText17/H5807.pdf
http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText17/SenateText17/S0669.pdf


 

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