Foster Care Reform Push

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The package of 22 bills would expand the system to include those older than 18 – up to age 21 for healthcare and housing – and up to age 24 for some other services.  It would also help to match foster youth up with relatives.  21-year old Janay Swain is a former foster child who says she's thrilled with the plans:

“To know that there are people thinking about us now and there’s people that’s gonna fight for us and make that change that we need…we’re only kids, we’re youth.”

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez acknowledges the changes would cost money…and that is often a sticking point:

“We’ve got to look at the long-term implications of not doing anything – it’s s system that’s not doing anything, that’s failing our youth, and at the end of the day is costing the state in other areas.”

The lion’s share of the bills are sponsored by Democrats, but several Republicans are also on board.